With the growing interest in electric transportation, it can seem like the auto industry has been taken over by a new breed of start-ups — companies and technologies that didn’t even exist before the beginning of this decade.

But according to recent patent filings, the real industry players, specifically in battery technology, are still the long-standing incumbents, supplying resources and engineering that kept this industry running long before gasoline became a dirty word. Recent research out of McKinsey and Company points to these incumbents pouring money into autonomous, connected and electrified vehicle startups to “maintain competitiveness” in this evolving marketplace. With respect to batteries, the patent landscape suggests incumbents continue to support internal innovation as well.

The chart below depicts the top assignees in the advanced battery and capacitor patent landscape in 2018, and the increase or decrease in published patents assigned since 2017.

Top Battery Manufacturers Patent Filings in the Automotive Patent Landscape from 2018

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