In terms of hydrogen fuel cell vehicle patents, China tops the list.

One of the most practical zero-emission technologies is the hydrogen fuel cell (HFCV), however the size of this fuel system is impeding the development of this market. Nevertheless, according to a report by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the number of patent applications for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and associated technology is rapidly rising globally. The survey also notes that when it comes to HFCV patent applications, China, Japan, and Germany are among the leaders. This occurs as technology with no emissions becomes popularity in the car industry.

According to a WIPO estimate, between 2016 and 2020, the number of patent applications filed in the hydrogen fuel cell industry climbed by around 23.4%. According to the research, China had the highest number of patent applications over the time period in question. 7,261 applications for hydrogen fuel cell technology were submitted by Chinese inventors. This represents 69% of all patent applications made between 2016 and 2020.

Japan contributed 1,186 applications, representing 11.3% of the total, and Germany contributed 646 patents, or 6.2 percent. In relation to hydrogen fuel cell technology, South Korea and the US submitted 583 and 403 patents, respectively. These two nations made for 5.6% and 3.8% of the total number of patents submitted during the time period.

The paper asserts that patent applications for hydrogen fuel cell technology in the transportation industry are currently on par with those for EVs, excluding hybrids. Since water is the sole tailpipe pollution produced by the hydrogen fuel cell, it is regarded as the real carbon neutral powertrain technology. Green hydrogen, however, is a requirement for carbon-neutral HFCV.

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