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Friday, 30 September 2011
Could the turbocharger kill the electric car? "FIGHT"
the global battle against carbon emissions, carmakers have made considerable progress in recent years boosting fuel efficiency of their internal combustion engines thanks to gadgets like turbochargers, industry officials and analysts said.
Although it may be an odd-sounding name for a green technology, the turbocharger raises fuel efficiency levels by up to 40 per cent and is now included in 75 per cent of new cars in Europe. That could rise to nearly 90 per cent by 2015.
They are far less common in the United States, mainly due to North Americans’ aversion to diesel-powered cars, which are particularly suited to turbocharging — but that is expected to change soon in an era of strict fuel economy standards.
“The turbocharger is a green technology in the sense that it’s helping cut emissions and raise fuel economy,” said Craig Balis, vice-president for engineering at Honeywell Turbo Technologies, in an interview. “It’s a critical component to get more fuel efficiency out of the engine.”
While the mention of turbochargers might have once conjured up images of loud, powerful engines, they have in the meantime become a tool of choice for cutting carbon emissions.
A diesel engine fitted with a turbocharger can go 40 per cent further and a gas engine 20 per cent further on a litre of fuel.