The retail industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by sustainability and convenience, and the growing importance of technologies such as electric mobility and prepaid charging. In the last three years alone, there have been over 133,000 patents filed and granted in the retail industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Online Payments in Retail: Prepaid EV charging.

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which uses over 128,000 patents to analyse innovation intensity for the retail industry, there are 70+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Prepaid EV charging is a key innovation area in online payments

Electric vehicle (EV) users often use prepaid cards for seamless charging of their vehicles at EV charging stations.

GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies.  According to GlobalData, there are 20 companies, spanning technology vendors, established retail companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of prepaid EV charging.

Key players in prepaid EV charging – a disruptive innovation in the retail industry

‘Application diversity’ measures the number of different applications identified for each relevant patent and broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of different countries each relevant patent is registered in and reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.

Patent volumes related to prepaid EV charging

Company Total patents (2010 - 2021) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Emerging Automotive 85 Unlock company profile
Gogoro 77 Unlock company profile
Toyota Motor 27 Unlock company profile
Ford Motor 20 Unlock company profile
Honda Motor 20 Unlock company profile
Tricopian 12 Unlock company profile
Panasonic 12 Unlock company profile
Chargepoint 11 Unlock company profile
RWE 11 Unlock company profile
China UnionPay 9 Unlock company profile
SoftBank Group 8 Unlock company profile
LS Electric 8 Unlock company profile
Tanktwo 7 Unlock company profile
Chubu Electric Power 6 Unlock company profile
Mastercard 6 Unlock company profile
ChargePoint Holdings 6 Unlock company profile
IoTecha 5 Unlock company profile
E.ON 5 Unlock company profile
Electricite de France 5 Unlock company profile
Global Foundries 5 Unlock company profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Leading patent filers in the prepaid EV charging space includes Emerging Automotive, Gogoro, Toyota Motor, Honda Motor, and Ford Motor. In February 2022, EVgo, an American public charging network, announced its agreement with Toyota Motor North America to offer free charging for a year for Toyota’s bZ4X customers.

In terms of application diversity, Gogoro, Emerging Automotive, SoftBank Group, Mastercard, and Chubu Electric Power are the leading players.

In terms of geographic reach, Electricite de France (EDF), E.ON, China UnionPay, and LS Electric are the top players.

With the growing adoption of electric vehicles, prepaid EV charging will gain momentum, as consumers will seek seamless charging experience for their vehicles.

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the retail industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Online Payments in Retail.


GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.