"We’ve been known to chide Detroit for being slow at innovation, and laud all those Silicon Valley startups out there, but according to data on the number of granted patents in the first quarter of 2008, car companies are actually leading in terms of intellectual property. New York-based intellectual property law firm Heslin Rothenberg Farley & Mesiti puts together the so-called Clean Energy Patent Growth Index that follows granted patents for cleantech, and the firm says that in the first quarter of this year, automotive companies dominated the top 10....."
Wow, this index is a good indicator of activity within various companies. It's sad that Ford is so far behind its competitors, and sadder still that Chrysler wasn't even mentioned.
If fuel cell costs have dropped 10X in 3 years, then of course there will be more patents for fuel cells than on other techs which haven't dropped so steeply. Only real innovations produce such drastic results.
Given that GM has finally taken the step to directly invest in the construction of a hydrogen infrastructure, I suspect they have very good news on the cost of fuel cells. Another thread stated that GM is only small multiples more expensive than an ICE, which itself is only $1,500, so a $3,000 - $6,000 premium for a fuel cell vehicle, while drastically reducing fuel costs and emissions, is a very viable product.