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New Mitsubishi Electric railcar traction inverter with all-SiC power modules achieves 40% power savings

Mitsubishi Electric Corporation announced that its main circuits featuring a traction inverter made with all-silicon carbide (SiC), which were installed in a 1000 series urban train operated by Odakyu Electric Railway Co., Ltd. in Japan, have been verified to achieve an approximate 40% savings in power consumption compared to a train using conventional circuitry.

The traction inverter, which is rated for 1,500V DC catenaries, was tested over a four-month period.

The verification compared a car retrofitted with an all-SiC traction inverter and another car fitted with a conventional gate turn-off thyristor traction inverter, both of which were put into actual commercial service. The test measured power consumption and electric power regeneration ratio of the two cars’ main circuits, which comprise traction inverters, high-efficiency main motors and filter reactors.

The following results are average values measured between 17 January and 8 May 2015:

  • 17% power savings during powered operation;
  • Increase from 34.1% to 52.1% in power regeneration ratio, calculated as power from regenerative brakes to catenaries divided by total electric power to drive the rail car; and
  • 40% power savings overall.



Well done Mitsubishi, especially the Regen gains.This is the kind of progress we like to hear of. Presumably it will scale to LDV level at some point in the future ?


This could another affordable way to get more e-range from existing batteries and EVs?

Anthony F

SiC inverters are going to have a big impact on electric transportation, but they aren't mainstream, and probably wont be for several more years (2020). I asked GM during one of their FB chats about it, and they seemed to indicate it wont be coming anytime soon (and its definitely not in the Gen 2 Volt).


GM may not be the right place to ask?

People like Tesla, Nissan, Toyota, VW, BMW, Mercedes, Volvo etc may have a different view?

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