While just about every automaker is working hard to develop and launch new hybrids and electric vehicles, turbochargers may become the wild card that significantly delays their plans.
According to Pierre Gaudillat, a policy officer at the Transport and Environment lobby group in Brussels, ''we don't really need and can't count on electric vehicles to deliver the CO2 savings'' in the near term.
''Maybe not until about 2030 or 2050,'' he adds.
By using turbos, most manufacturers have managed to give a new life to internal combustion engines, which now deliver more performance and efficiency than ever. In some cases, fuel consumption can be reduced by up to 40 percent!