UK ranks 6th globally for low-carbon vehicle innovation

Despite confident claims Britain is growing into a high tech powerhouse by the Government, transport and automation tell a different story.

a factory filled with lots of orange machines

A new report by GovGrant, which looks at patent applications domestically and internationally, has revealed British filings for low carbon vehicle innovation have grown in the past half decade, but remain far behind competitors.

Overall, there has been a 31% rise in filings by UK companies in the last five years. This places the country sixth globally, lagging behind Germany, the US and Japan among others. Meanwhile, external confidence in the market is falling, with the number of patents to protect low carbon vehicle innovation in Great Britain, filed by foreign investors, plummeting three-fold in the same period.

The US saw the biggest decrease in this, with 84% less applications year-on-year, and Germany fell by 73%. Analysts have voiced concerns this may suggest two of the largest manufacturing powers on the planet may no longer consider the UK a significant market. This is particularly problematic as the latest report shows Rolls Royce is the first UK-owned company to appear in the top filers list, painting a worrisome picture of how reliant the country remains on overseas manufacturing and engineering.

As we have previously reported, the Intellectual Property Office’s Green Channel, designed to fast track climate-aligned innovation, has also been marred with delays and backlogs. And political instability – including successive cabinet and administration changes in quick succession – has made it difficult to predict long-term policy, which may have further contributed to the figures.

‘In a market dominated by foreign players, foreign investment in the UK is crucial for skilled jobs to be located here and hopefully for technologies to be created here. We are seeing this to an extent in the UK, but it’s not in the same ballpark as what we’re seeing in Japan, US, South Korea, Germany and even France,’ said Akshay Thaman, IP Consultant & Policy Lead at GovGrant.

‘Seeing foreign filers drop off the radar, means it’s likely that they do not view the UK as important a market to protect as it once was. Businesses will protect in markets where they will manufacture, sell, and use those technologies or are threatened by competition that might protect in those key markets,’ he continued.

More on low carbon vehicles:

Research shows 58% of EV drivers are no longer affected by range anxiety

Carbon emissions in Reading fall by more than 50%

80% of charge points installed in the last three months were in London and the South East

Image: Simon Kadula


Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Help us break the news – share your information, opinion or analysis
Back to top