In One Chart: The U.S. trails in battery technology, says study ahead of Tesla’s battery day

A rechargeable Lithium-ion battery for the Volkswagen ID.3 electric car at the Volkswagen car factory in Zwickau, Germany, on February 25, 2020.

AFP via Getty Images

Tesla has markets excited from what kind of battery technology it is about to unveil.

But a study released ahead of the event finds the U.S. is trailing its global competitors, notably Japan.

The study, from the European Patent Office and the International Energy Agency, found the U.S. fifth in battery technology patents, from 2000 to 2018. The U.S. trailed Japan, South Korea, Europe and China.

That the U.S. is trailing is in fact backed by Tesla TSLA, +1.63% itself. Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk tweeted that the company will increase its use of batteries from Japan’s Panasonic 6752, -0.50%, South Korea’s LG Electronics 066570, -2.20% and China’s CATL 300750, +1.29%.

Read: 3 things to know about Tesla’s battery day

One area the U.S. is strong in is potential next-generation batteries, the study says. The U.S. is the leader with 36% of patents on lithium-nickel-cobalt-aluminum-oxide chemistry for Li-ion batteries, which are already being used by Panasonic and Tesla.

The U.S. trails only Japan in patents for solid-state Li-ion battery patents, and is the leader with nearly a third of all patent applications in Redox flow batteries.

By company, Samsung 005930, -1.68%, Panasonic, LG Electronics, Toyota TM, -2.25% and Bosch had filed the most patent applications between 2000 and 2018.


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