German automaker Audi AG, the second largest luxury carmaker in the world is set to become the first manufacturer that uses electrically boosted turbocharging systems for series production models after 2016.
There are also other automakers mulling a switch to the emerging technology, such as Ford or Honda and the trend to use more electro-turbos will act as a sales boost for manufacturers that offer the systems – Valeo, Honeywell and BorgWarner. The electrically driven compressors assist the traditional turbocharger from very low rpm in a move that lowers the usual turbo lag and also has a positive impact on fuel consumption. There are also detractors – most famous among them being BMW, with the companies claiming the usual turbo technology is just fine. Even turbo manufacturers such as Honeywell add to the woes by saying the electrified turbos will achieve maximum efficiency only when the conventional 12-volt vehicle architecture is abandoned in favor of the more expensive 48-volt systems.
According to Audi research and development chief Ulrich Hackenberg, moving to the electric turbocharger is a step towards future technology, with the first Audi using the system being a new versions of the recently introduced flagship Q7 sport utility vehicle – with the e-charger equipping the company’s TDI diesel engines. He said the solution lowers CO2 emissions by 7 grams per kilometer and “significantly increase performance.” Ford for example has been looking into the technology’s application on gasoline engines, and Valeo says the supplier already has around one or two years of headstart as opposed to the competition.
Via Automotive News Europe