Apart from the consumer electronics sector, the growing automotive sector is an important power electronics market driver. In conventional vehicles, power electronics applications include the interfaces between the engine–alternator and the battery and between the battery and the lights, horns, wipers, starter motors, and infotainment and advanced driver assistance (ADAS) systems.
Electric vehicles use power electronics in even higher capacities, as they control the electricity coming from the charging station into the battery and that leaving the battery for the primary traction motor. Similarly, in vehicles that operate at higher voltage and current ratings, more-powerful power electronics are needed. For instance, the majority of the three-phase electric locomotives being manufactured by Indian Railways, including WAP-5, WAP-7, WAG-9, and WAG-12, consist of thyristor converters and IGBTs.
Moreover, these devices are being integrated into even the newer diesel locomotives being manufactured in the country: WDGD-4G and WDG-6G. In the same vein, power electronics are required for just about any vehicle where electricity is important in any way, including aircraft and ships. Further, power electronics are now penetrating perhaps the most-essential sector, electricity generation and transmission.
The step-up and step-down transformers that currently form the backbone of the transmission (grid) infrastructure are bulky, costly, and often slow to react. In this regard, solid-state transformers, especially those containing power electronic devices made of silicon carbide (SiC), can offer cost and time advantages and help transition the global economy to smart grids, including those that take the intermittent power generated by renewable energy plants.
Asia-Pacific (APAC) was the largest power electronics market during the historical period (2012–2015) due to its burgeoning population, for which electricity coverage is being rapidly expanded. As per several reports, China, India, Japan, Hong Kong, Pakistan, South Korea, Vietnam, and Australia all had 100% electricity coverage, in terms of the share of the population with access to it, in 2018. Moreover, the region is the largest producer of consumer electronics and automobiles, which has been propelling the demand for such devices.
Hence, with the rising consumer appliance and automotive production, the demand for power electronics will increase.