Global Information Inc. would like to present a new market research report, "Hybrid Locomotives: Technology Innovations and Demand Drivers for Diesel and All-Electric Locomotives, Genset Locomotives, and Hybrid Locomotives: Market Analysis and Forecasts" by Navigant Research.
In locomotives, large diesel engines act as generators for electric motors that drive the locomotive. Among the different types of locomotives, those that move rail cars around a yard to line them up for trains are often the source of high emissions. These locomotives are often left idling and operate inefficiently as they have to start and stop often. New locomotives with multiple engines, called generator sets (gensets), provide locomotives with the power they need as well as the capability to shut off engines (and therefore reduce emissions) when not needed. While genset locomotives provide some fuel savings, the next evolution is a hybrid locomotive that utilizes stored energy.
According to the report, hybrid electric locomotive sales will have an increasing presence in global rail markets between 2015 and 2020. During that period, hybrid locomotive sales will increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 19.4% under a baseline forecast scenario, with annual unit sales surpassing 100 locomotives by 2020. Pike Researchs aggressive forecast scenario anticipates that the market could achieve a CAGR of 25.4% during the same period, with annual unit sales exceeding 170.
"Hybrid locomotives will have a strong return on investment, as a result of their ability to use low-cost batteries," says senior analyst Dave Hurst. "In addition, the market will receive a boost from new diesel locomotive emissions regulations scheduled to go into effect in the European Union in 2014 and in North America in 2015, which will require diesel locomotives to receive substantial changes or exhaust treatments. In addition, railroad infrastructure is growing rapidly in India and China, and emissions concerns will drive hybrid demand in those markets as well."
However, adds Hurst, growth in hybrid locomotives faces several key challenges. In Europe, track electrification will eliminate the need for either diesel or battery storage in many areas. In North America, a high-profile hybrid locomotive product faced a serious setback in the mid-2000s that still haunts the industry today. Hurst also notes that the market for hybrid locomotives faces stiff competition from newer fuel-efficient locomotives such as diesel gensets, and in many world regions, the locomotive engine does not have to meet strict emissions rules.