Plug-ins may be getting a lot of the attention from folks looking to cut emissions, but no one is forgetting the good old-fashioned turbocharger. In the end, turbos might even have a far larger impact.
Decidedly non-electrification-related features such as turbochargers, eight-speed transmissions and low rolling-resistance tires will be included on most US vehicles in 2025, the year automakers will have to meet the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standard of 54.5 miles per gallon (which is closer to a "real world" 40 mpg), Wards Auto says, citing Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officials.
Automakers will be able to wring out 33 percent more "effective pressure" from turbochargers than they do today, with some companies boosting pressure by as much as 50 percent. That means that for every Nissan Leaf battery-electric or Toyota Prius Plug-ins, there will likely be many cars like the Hyundai Veloster Turbo (pictured) that will get better mileage thanks to a turbocharger. Even rigs like the Ford F-150 and Chevrolet Silverado may include four-cylinder engines thanks to improvements in turbocharging power.
Either way, the typical 2025 model will have about $1,800 more in fuel-saving technology than 2016 models, though the higher costs will likely be paid back in under four years, according to the EPA.