Published: May 2018
Qu Zhao*1, 2
1Department of Social Sciences, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Universitätsstr. 3b, Berlin, 10117, GERMANY
2Department 2, German Centre for Higher Education Research and Science Studies (DZHW), Schützenstr. 6a, Berlin, 10117, GERMANY
Over the last two decades, Electromobility (e-mobility) has gained significant popularity as a favourable approach to circumvent problems related to both resources and pollution whilst meeting mobility demands. Germany and China as the major exporter and volume producer in the automotive industry have respectively set themselves the goal of becoming the lead market for e-mobility by 2020. It calls for the implementation of national strategies and a great attention from scholars. E-mobility refers a whole host of components from drive technologies to charging infrastructure. The extensive coverage results in a focus on statistical analysis based on patents. However, the existing research seldom proceeds from the issue of green innovation, in particular from the applicant perspective. In addition to the overview of e-mobility and green innovation, the present study draws on recent methodological advances and refines indicators to measure innovation in e-mobility-related technologies. It bases analyses on a unique and integrated patent dataset reconstructed upon Espacenet under Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC). Applicants are classified manually and compared with corresponding classifications, inventors and jurisdictions, aiming at comparing the development, collaboration and diffusion of technologies between countries. The co-ownership and legal status are further discussed for tracing correlations and intellectual property management. German applicants, notably the business giants occupy an irreplaceable position in international cooperation and market penetration. Applicants in China are scattered but have laid a solid foundation of scientific research. Taking technology transfer and novelty into account, both countries still have more spaces on the issue of e-mobility to move up.