July 19, 2019
As reported by Forbes, four recently published US patent applications illustrate NIO’s aggressive plans to establish itself as a new player in the global Electric Vehicle (EV) market. NIO, a Shanghai-based company that publicly listed its shares on the New York Stock Exchange in September 2018, had previously announced that autonomous EVs would be available in the US in 2020, and appears to be taking steps to fulfill its commitment.
A majority of NIO’s newly published US patent applications relate to technological advancements in batteries. Two of the applications describe technology and processes for charging EVs at higher voltages, of up to 800V, to allow for faster charging. The third application relates to a “Real-Time Nonlinear Receding Horizon Control”, an algorithmic process used to improve battery life. The fourth application describes a “highly-integrated fail operational e-powertrain” for autonomous vehicles to meet the highest safety level, ASIL D.
It remains to be seen what the outcome of the NIO patents will be, but the announcement highlights the acceleration of competition and innovation within the EV space. With companies such as Porsche, Aston Martin, and Mercedes developing new technology to challenge the current leader, Tesla, properly securing intellectual property rights will continue to be a key factor in determining success.
Authors: Jaclyn Tilak and Adam Voorberg