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The hybrid train is a locomotive, railcar, or train that incorporates an onboard Rechargeable Energy Storage System (RESS) between the power source (often a diesel engine prime mover) and the traction transmission system connected to the wheels. The storage system is charged by excess energy from the power source or point produced from regenerative braking. The stored energy is later sent to the transmission system during acceleration, increasing the power available from the primary power source.
Several countries have increased the stringency of emission standards, compelling train makers to deploy less polluting trains. As a result, firms, such as Alstom, Bombardier, Siemens, Wabtec Corporation, and others, are investing in alternative fuel-powered train technologies. Several freight firms have expressed interest in hybrid trains to reduce operating expenses by reducing fuel and maintenance expenditures. The Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) is important in the freight sector since it influences profit margins. When traveling long distances with typical diesel trains, fuel costs are significant. However, electrified fuel cells, CNG, and LNG hybrid trains decrease these costs by nearly half. These factors are anticipated to propel the growth of the market.
Trains and their associated infrastructure require a significant investment. They need substantial financial assistance from local and national governments. Metropolitan areas are experiencing traffic congestion and rising demand for public transportation. Hence, government agencies are anticipated to invest extensively in supporting and enhancing the current infrastructure. These investments result in new train orders. These factors will surge the demand for hybrid trains. The high & rising cost of new rail vehicles can potentially hamper sales. For instance, according to HydroFLEX engineers in the U.K., electrifying a 1-kilometer piece of railway track costs around USD 1.3 million.
The pandemic caused a significant downturn in the hybrid train market. The global manufacturing and sale of new rail cars ceased due to disruption in supply chains. OEMs had to wait until lockdowns were removed before they could begin manufacturing, negatively impacting revenues and their ability to invest in new product development. The railway sector is very capital-intensive. As a result, the production standstill during the pandemic and decrease in new orders harmed hybrid train manufacturers.
After the COVID-19 pandemic, people across the globe avoided using public transport to avoid crowds. Most people choose a personal/private vehicle for travel and commuting. This is expected to have a significant impact on new train sales. Declining train operations are expected to reduce train demand, affecting the global train industry and its ecosystem. This drop in demand will also reduce the growth rate of hybrid trains.
The report will cover the following key insights:
The passenger segment is expected to hold the largest share of the market. Hybrid trains provide cost-effective and efficient passenger transportation. Several cities are building new rail infrastructure to relieve traffic congestion and provide an economical mode of transportation, both intercity and intracity. Increasing urbanization and increased desire for enhanced connection, comfort, dependability, and safety will positively influence the growth of this segment.
Rail batteries must be long-lasting and fast-charging. Currently, the rail sector uses lead-acid and nickel cadmium (Ni-Cd) batteries. These batteries are hazardous for the environment and contain dangerous substances. In addition to these disadvantages, they have a high self-discharge rate and a short charge cycle. Although Ni-Cd batteries may offer 60% more energy than other varieties, they have a recharging issue known as the "memory effect". While increasing cell capacity might increase battery performance, it can also jeopardize system safety.
The terminal voltage and ampere-hour capacity of the VRLA are lower. During discharge, it maintains a fairly constant terminal voltage. Furthermore, VRLA batteries are more stable at greater temperatures than standard lead-acid batteries. As a result, the VRLA battery outperforms conventional batteries under varied loads and temperatures, requires less maintenance, and is very dependable. Since they have more than double the cycle life of a traditional flooded product, these batteries are utilized in DMUs and diesel locomotives to start engines and for auxiliary purposes. VRLA batteries do not need to be refilled with water regularly, making them more efficient and dependable in terms of efficiency and maintenance. The VRLA battery is expected to dominate the Asian market.
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Geographically, the market is segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and the rest of the world. Asia Pacific is expected to account for the highest hybrid train market share during the forecast period due to notable domestic hybrid train manufacturers such as CRRC, Hyundai Rotem, and Toshiba, which provide sophisticated solutions in the region. The railway industries of China and India are the primary reasons the region leads the global hybrid train market. These countries have a vast and dense railway network and are also attempting to promote adopting environment-friendly trains. As a result, rising sales of electro-diesel trains in these nations would propel the market in this region. Several sophisticated hybrid trains have been tested and deployed in Japan and South Korea.
By Propulsion Type
By Operational Speed
By Battery Type
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