EV Push Spawns First Electric Turbo-Charger

In response to the growth of electrified powertrains, forced induction specialist Garrett has launched what it claims is the world’s first electric turbo-charger.

Instead of being driven off the exhaust gases of an ICE, this “E-Turbo” adds an electric motor to boost engine efficiency. Existing turbos use exhaust energy to drive a turbine wheel connected by a shaft to a compressor wheel. The E-Turbo adds motor on the shaft between the two wheels to spool up the turbo quicker and provide boost immediately off idle, claiming to eliminate the lag between the time a driver hits the accelerator and the power engages. Electrifying the turbo also removes the design constraints prioritizing turbine efficiency at low engine speeds to drive the compressor. The addition of electric power to compensate when air flow is low allows the use of a larger turbo more appropriately matched to engine’s aspirating characteristics.

Garrett also claims its E-Turbo can electrically recuperate spent exhaust energy by using a small electric motor to generate electricity and recharge the hybrid battery. This ability to be an on-board provider of electricity opens up options for automakers in designing hybrid powertrains.

The company claims the system boosts rated power by 16%, torque increases by 10.5% and acceleration time on its test mule between 37mph and 62mph improved by 25% from 11 seconds to 8.8 seconds. The unit will be available for mass market applications by 2021.

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in London. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *