Volvo to Start Using Electrically Driven Superchargers

2020 Volvo XC90

Volvo will ditch its current uplevel supercharged and turbocharged four-cylinder engine in the near future, the Volvo Car Group's R&D chief, Henrik Green, told Car and Driver at the Vienna Motor Symposium on Thursday. Future iterations of the engine will instead feature an electric charger in addition to the turbocharger.
The Twincharger engine is part of the VEA engine family that was launched in 2013. Lower-powered iterations of this engine are simply turbocharged, but the most powerful versions, fitted in T6 and hybridized T8 models, currently include an engine-driven supercharger as well. Across most of the Volvo lineup, T5s are currently rated at 250 horsepower, while the T6 boosts output to 316 horsepower.
The move to an electric charger mirrors recent decisions by Audi: The Europe-only, 435-hp SQ7 TDI came with a diesel V-8 and an electric supercharger. That model will return, and there will be an SQ8 TDI as well. Moreover, Europe-market S4, S5, S6, and S7 models will get V-6 TDI engines with an electric charger.
Unlike Audi, Volvo—a company that has promised to ditch the diesel altogether—is coupling the e-charger to gasoline engines. The system is offered by several suppliers and was first widely communicated by French supplier Valeo. Green wouldn’t disclose the supplier of the system or any particulars about expected output.
Electric chargers spin up nearly instantly and are used briefly during acceleration to create boost before a turbocharger has the time to spool. While, theoretically, less powerful electric chargers can run with a 12-volt electrical system, their full potential can only be unleashed by 48-volt electrical systems. Volvo's intention is for all future models, short of plug-in hybrids and full electrics, to feature this form of hybridization.

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