Automakers are expected to adopt turbocharging technology to the tune of 48% of annual global sales by 2021, up 9% from 2016, according to the Honeywell Transportation Systems division of Honeywell International Inc.
This annual sales estimate, combining both passenger and commercial vehicles, would add more than 232 million turbocharged vehicles globally between 2017 and 2021 — an increase of 35% from today.
The latest edition of the company’s annual Transportation Systems Forecast projects turbo vehicle sales to reach 52 million annually by 2021, up from 38 million in 2016.
The forecast points to a “Golden Age of Turbo” as the need for cleaner, more efficient transportation will drive pairing of turbo with electrification.
"As emission regulations continue to tighten, mature automotive markets like the United States and high-growth regions like China and India are turning to turbochargers to help provide cleaner transportation. This is creating what we refer to as the 'Golden Age of Turbo,'" says Olivier Rabiller, Honeywell Transportation Systems president and CEO. "With the ability to improve emissions and fuel economy by 20 to 40% in gas and diesel engines, turbocharging technology is a smart choice for helping automakers meet tougher global emissions standards without sacrificing performance."
This year's forecast recognizes an industry trend for slightly bigger engine sizes in Europe and China as automakers adapt powertrain strategies to tackle updated emissions regulations developed for real-world driving conditions. In these regions, a typical powertrain is a three- or four-cylinder engine with a displacement size between 1.2 liters and 1.7 liters. By rightsizing engines with available technologies, automakers are able to continue applying the benefits of smaller turbocharged engines while fine-tuning powertrain systems to further optimize fuel economy, emissions and performance.
Electric boosting products
In addition, Honeywell's forecast calls for electric boosting products to help support compliance with more stringent national environmental standards. To this end, it is anticipated that the industry will begin moving from 12-volt battery systems to 48-volt systems. The company says this change opens the door for a cost-effective electric boosting technology solution featuring e-chargers and e-turbos to help improve efficiency and performance of the internal combustion engine in a mild hybrid vehicle. E-boosting products can dramatically improve engine responsiveness and also provide better fuel economy. Specific to diesel, it also has the potential to significantly reduce pollutant emissions, like mononitrogen oxide (NOx), and help meet more stringent regulations including the Real-Driving Emissions test in Europe.
Electrics and hybrids
Electrics and hybrids are expected to grow from a total of 3 million vehicles in 2016 to a total of 16 million by 2021. Within the electrified category, mild hybrids are expected to account for 46 percent of the mix; full hybrids will account for 40 percent; and pure electric vehicles will be most of the remaining 14 percent. Honeywell estimates 70 percent of all mild hybrid vehicles will have a turbo or multiple turbo systems (mechanical and electric). In addition, Honeywell has drawn upon its engineering competencies in the automotive and aerospace industries to create a new two-stage electrical compressor used by Honda Motor Co. for its hydrogen-powered Clarity Fuel Cell vehicle.
Smaller engines in North America
In North America, more engine downsizing is expected. The current average engine size is a 3.0-liter six-cylinder. As the region continues to shift from larger naturally aspirated engines to smaller turbocharged ones, Honeywell is working to provide more twin-scroll turbo technology support, which extracts more energy from four-cylinder exhaust profiles. Honeywell expects light vehicle sales of turbocharged vehicles to grow 11 points to 33 percent of regional sales or more than 7 million vehicles by 2021. Turbocharged diesel engines will continue to be in demand on light-duty trucks.