Electric locomotive is a type of engine that uses electric motors as drive source. The electric locomotive engine is powered by electricity, which is supplied by electric lines, on-board battery, or by super capacitor. The locomotive is connected to the overhead type of electric lines via a connector, which can be disconnected as per requirement. Electric motors are preferred for the electric locomotive engine as they are highly efficient and their operation is quieter than that of a diesel locomotive engine.
The prime driver of the electric locomotive engine market is the high efficiency of the electric traction motors coupled with reduced pollution. Electric traction motors have an efficiency of around 90%, which makes them useful for electric locomotive engines. Moreover, electric locomotive engines are free from pollution, and hence, governing bodies are focusing on incorporating maximum number of trains with an electric locomotive engine. An electric locomotive engine contains very few reciprocating parts, which in turn reduces the engine weight and increases the mechanical efficiency as well as increases engine speed by reducing the friction. Another driver of the electric locomotive engine market is power. Electric locomotive engines are more powerful than diesel powered engines. The cost of an electric locomotive engine reduces drastically as electricity is cheaper than diesel. Therefore, the demand for electric locomotive engines is increasing at a rapid pace.
A major restraint to the electric locomotive engine market is cost of infrastructure. The cost of power line construction and maintenance is high, which results in increased expense over train infrastructure. Another restraint to the electric locomotive engine market is its dependency on the power line. The overhead power lines or third rail power lines are the source of power for electric locomotive engines and any cut off or shortage in power can halt the engine entirely.
The electric locomotive engine market is expected to offer significant growth opportunities owing to increased pollution and finite fuel and crude oil sources. These advantages have prompted governing bodies to focus on replacing older locomotive engines with electric locomotive engines.
The electric locomotive engine market can be segmented based on power supply method, automation level, type of power, components, and geography. In terms of power supply method, the market can be classified into three segments. The overhead power line method is the most used method of supplying power to the electric locomotive engine owing to its simplicity. Based on automation level, the electric locomotive engine market can be segregated into four segments. The GoA1 segment dominates the market in most regions; however, the higher level of automation is expected to be implemented in the near future.
Based on type of power, the electric locomotive engine market can be segregated into two segments. DC motors have high starting torque which make them eligible for faster initial movement, irrespective of load. A DC motor can handle AC supply too. Consequently, the DC powered electric locomotive engines are dominating the market. In terms of components, the market can be segmented into thirteen segments. An electric locomotive engine contains numerous components such as electric motors, transformer, inverter, and compressor.
In terms of geography, the electric locomotive engine market can be segmented into five prominent regions. North America is leading the global market owing to the higher rate of adoption of technology and automation in the region. The market in China is expanding at a rapid pace. China is expected to dominate the electric locomotive engine market owing to the availability of sources at a lower cost and support from the government.
Key players operating in the automotive electric engine market include Bombardier, Alstom, Siemens Ltd., and CRRC Corporation Limited. CRRC Corporation Limited is a prominent company operating in the global electric locomotive engine market. A majority of components for the Chinese railways are manufactured by the CRRC Corporation Limited. Increased emphasis on railway electrification is likely to offer lucrative opportunities for electric locomotive engine manufacturers.
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