The European Patent Office (EPO) published a report earlier this year looking at statistical trends in patent filings for hydrogen-related technology. It is the first study of its kind and covers the full range of technologies, from hydrogen supply to storage, distribution and transformation, as well as end-use applications.
It’s a long report and, for those without the time to read it in full, here are seven key transport-related takeaways from Dominic O'Connor as featured in leading hydrogen publication, H2 View.
From 2011-2020, hydrogen automotive internal combustion engine (ICE) innovation has remained steady, while fuel cell innovation has increased markedly. This shows that innovators still view hydrogen ICE as important for the future, and not just fuel cells.
In 2014 Toyota launched the Mirai, the world’s first hydrogen-powered production car, powered by a fuel cell. Since then, Toyota and several other companies have focused on developing fuel cell technology for hydrogen. But relatively little in that time has been made of hydrogen ICEs. This may have been caused by older studies of hydrogen ICEs showing some NOx emissions. However, as JCB’s recent studies show, by running a lean burn with low-temperature combustion, NOx emissions can be all but eliminated.