Forced induction provided by turbochargers and superchargers is a nice way to get more power out of an engine with a fixed displacement. The manufacturers of this technology are a fairly concentrated group, however, which is a worry to OEM’s. If the supply of these forced induction products is too concentrated with a few select manufacturers, then there is a worry that if demand for blowers goes up substantially, then the suppliers will have undue leverage in price setting. Therefore, OEM’s are encouraging other suppliers to enter the market.
Turbocharging, which uses exhaust gasses to force a blower thereby raising compression ratios, is used on many vehicles to increase power without sacrificing fuel economy. BMW’s Efficient Dynamics system relies upon it and other manufactures employ the same principles in their vehicles. The technology has the potential of providing huge power gains, however there is the issue of turbo lag, namely the lack of instantaneous full-power throttle response. Supercharging, which can be done with either an added engine belt (an detriment to fuel economy) or with an electric motor is a way to achieve power gains with instantaneous response behind the pedal.