Ford is Starting the turbo charge revolution in the US

by / Tuesday, 20 November 2012 / Published in Smartgrid-CI Blog

Turbo engine are becoming a norm in Europe. Will the American drivers convert to 1L 3 cylinder engines.

Last year, I traveled in Bavaria in a rental car. It was a Mercedes Class B, a compact crossover that is not included in Daimler’s US catalog. I drove about 200 miles on a return trip from Munich in the heart of Bavaria to Straubing, near the Czech border. I drove fast, like everybody else, and much of my surprise I realized at the end of my trip that I did barely used 25% of the gas in my tank. This was my first encounter with turbocharged powered car.
 European manufacturers have made the strategic decision about five years ago to switch all their models to these engines. This technology develops more power because of compressed air that creates forced combustion
The technology is not new. It was used extensively in the 70’s and the 80’s for sports cars such at the Golf GTI. It is also commonly used with constructions machines, trucks and trains. What is new is that manufacturers had the good idea to develop small engines that can fit in John  Doe’s car (at least the European John  Doe). Thenew Fiesta that Ford plans to launch in the US next year comes with a 1L, 3 cylinder engine that develops no less than 123 horse power.

Officially, this car will be able to go 40MPG.  However in Europe, a Diesel version reaches…65MPG, which is way better than most hybrid cars.
What to think about this revolution? 
  1.  A big question mark is how the US consumers will react in front of a car that is so different from what they are used to? And how big will be the task of educating them? 
  2.  What will be the impact of the turbo revolution on the hybrid and EV market?
  3. 3Will the US consumers be ready one day to switch to the 65MPG Diesel Nirvana?
This new Ford Fiesta is much more than just another car on the market. It could totally redefine the way we deal with cars and deeply impact the electric and hybrid market.

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