Automotive Turbochargers: Enormous Opportunity with Market Diversification

Automotive Turbocharger Market

Turbochargers compress the combustion air (exhaust gas) and supply it to the engine. The engine aspirates the same volume of air, but due to the higher pressure, more air mass is supplied into the combustion chamber. Consequently, more fuel is burnt to increase the engine’s power output according to the speed and swept volume.

The Global Automotive Turbocharger Market in the pre-COVID-19 situation was projected to reach USD 21.3 billion by 2025 from USD 13.5 billion in 2020. However, due to COVID-19, most of the countries have imposed a complete lockdown for more than two months, which has impacted vehicle production. The automotive turbocharger market is estimated to observe a decline post-COVID-19 due to the impact on vehicle production. The global automotive turbocharger market size post-COVID-19 is estimated to be USD 11.1 billion in 2020 and projected to reach USD 18.4 billion by 2025, at a CAGR of 10.5%.

Globally, the automotive industry is driven by legislation to reduce emissions & increase fuel efficiency and consumer demands. With decreased limits of pollutants in upcoming emission regulations, OEMs are working on vehicle light-weighting and electrification. Many OEMs are working towards 48V mild-hybrid vehicles, which would electrify most of the components, thus, reducing the load on the engine and improving fuel efficiency. This electrification includes turbochargers too. The high voltage electric vehicles do have electric turbochargers. However, the demand for 48V mild-hybrid electric turbochargers is an upcoming trend in the turbo industry.

Automotive turbocharger market is dominated by manufacturers such Honeywell (US), BorgWarner (US), MHI (Japan), IHI (Japan), and Continental (Germany), Bosch Mahle (Germany), Cummins  (US), ABB (Switzerland), TEL (India), and Delphi Technologies (UK), Rotomaster International (Canada), Precision Turbo & Engine INC(US), Turbonetics(US), Turbo International (US), Kompressorenabu Bannewitz GMBH(Germany), Turbo Dynamic Ltd.(UK), Fuyuan Turbocharger Co. Ltd.(China), Hunan Tyen Machinery Co. Ltd. (China), Ningbo Motor Industrial Co. Ltd. (China), Calsonic Kansei (Japan).

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Regarding light-weighting, like most of the other components, the turbocharger industry is also shifting towards light-weighting. The demand for aluminum for turbocharger components is expected to showcase the fastest demand in the near future. Regarding turbocharger technology – presently, owing to their low cost, as compared with VGT/VNT, the wastegate type is dominating the global turbochargers market. These turbo types are more preferred in developing countries where economical cars are preferred. However, with advancements in technologies and an increase in preference towards high powered vehicles, the demand for VGT/VNT type is projected to showcase the fastest growth in the near future.

In the present study published by MarketsandMarkets, the off-highway vehicle turbocharger market includes agricultural tractors and construction equipment. Owing to increased infrastructure development, emerging economies, mining activities, the construction equipment demand is projected to grow at a faster rate. Hence, the construction equipment turbocharger market is estimated as the most rapid market. The study also estimates that penetration of turbochargers in high HP agriculture tractors is more, whereas, in low HP tractors, it is negligible. As the high HP tractors are more preferred in western countries, the demand for tractor turbochargers is projected to be more in western countries as compared with developing countries from Asia.

Looking at the upcoming regulations and increased preference towards high powered vehicles, the manufacturers can focus on the development of electric turbochargers, whereas, in terms of the type, the manufacturers can look forward to increasing demand for gasoline VGT/VNT. The turbocharger manufacturers can also focus on change in material, where aluminum and nickel alloys are replacing the traditional cast iron. The critical components like turbine and compressors which are exposed to the extreme environment would potentially have the demand for these materials in the near future.

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Automotive Turbocharger Market Key Application:

  • Variable geometry turbocharger (VGT/VNT) – Variable geometry turbocharger is also known as variable nozzle turbocharger (VNT). In variable geometry turbocharger, the flow of exhaust gas is adjusted automatically according to the speed and the load of the engine, which helps in reducing fuel consumption. The VGT technology has helped to overcome the limitation set by fixed geometry turbocharger (FGT)/wastegate turbocharger. Variable geometry turbochargers have a different configuration, which consists of directing the exhaust through vanes after the turbine, making it more effective and performance-oriented than wastegate.
  • Wastegate turbocharger – A wastegate turbocharger is a device that controls maximum boost by bypassing exhaust flow around the turbine section of a turbocharger. Wastegate turbocharger is used to prevent over boost of the engine, which occurs in peak torque conditions, with the help opening and closing valve during maximum torque. Wastegate turbochargers do not have movable vanes due to which the price is lesser than the price of variable geometry turbocharger. Wastegate turbochargers are becoming extremely popular in small cars.
  • Electric turbocharger – Electric turbocharger is an advanced technology in turbocharging used in internal combustion engines with hybrid powertrains. An electric turbocharger can be operational only with 48V architecture. The benefit of the electric turbocharger is that it does not have turbo lag. This reduces emissions and improves fuel efficiency.