Just in time for Earth Day 2011:
General Motors announced last week in a press release that it "received more clean-energy patents last year than any other organization, according to the Clean Energy Patent Growth Index of U.S. patents. GM’s 135 patents represent nearly 14 percent of the total 1,881 received by 700 entities." Among these 135 patents are several that are directed to electrically operated vehicles. That's no surprise because, according to the press release, "GM believes electrically driven vehicles offer the most long-term benefits to customers around the world."
In the top 25 companies in the Growth Index, GM came second only to Honda in overall numbers, and its 2010 results surpassed Honda's. Interestingly,Toyota came in third, giving the top three spots in the list to automotive companies. Looking further down the list, the automotive industry had five of the top seven spots (Nissan was fifth and Ford was seventh).
In 2010, applicants from the United States were awarded more Green Energy patents than applicants from any other country, according to the Growth Index.
The Growth Index is compiled by Heslin Rothenberg Farley & Mesiti P.C. I don't know what criteria they use to select patents for inclusion.