Sure, electric cars like those from Tesla and hybrids like Toyota’s Prius grab the headlines. But when it comes to cumulatively saving the most gas, the auto industry is increasingly turning to another technology: turbochargers.
Federal regulators are planning a midterm evaluation of the nation’s fuel-economy standards that the auto industry must meet by 2025. With sales of hybrid and electric vehicles falling, automakers are planning to argue that they should get more credit with conventional technology like turbocharged engines.
Vehicles with turbocharged engines made up 8 percent of the market in 2010. Last year, they had almost tripled their market share with 22 percent. Looking ahead, they are expected to hit 38 percent by 2020, says consultants LMC Automotive. The gas savings may not be as big as those from hybrids or electric cars, which depend on batteries, but turbos are a cheaper way to save fuel.
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