Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Falling CO2 emissions & the electric car

Does the world really even need electric cars?
In 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 percent and is now included in 75 percent of new cars in Europe. That could rise to nearly 90 percent by 2015.

They are far less common in the United States, mainly due to Americans' aversion to diesel-powered cars, 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 engineer at Honeywell Turbo Technologies, in an interview with Reuters. "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.

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