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Honeywell Transportation Systems Forecast: turbocharged vehicles to account for 48% of annual global sales by 2021; electric boosting emerges

Honeywell’s Transportation Systems Forecast projects that turbocharged vehicles will acount for 48% of annual global sales by 2021, up 9 percentage points from 2016. This annual sales estimate, combining both passenger and commercial vehicles, would add more than 232 million turbocharged vehicles globally between 2017 and 2021—an increase of 35% from today.

This year’s forecast recognizes an industry trend for slightly bigger engine sizes in Europe and China as automakers adapt powertrain strategies to tackle updated emissions regulations developed for real-world driving conditions. In these regions, a typical powertrain is a three- or four-cylinder engine with a displacement size between 1.2 liters and 1.7 liters. By rightsizing engines with available technologies, automakers are able to continue applying the benefits of smaller turbocharged engines while fine-tuning powertrain systems to further optimize fuel economy, emissions and performance.

In addition, Honeywell’s forecast calls for electric boosting products to help support compliance with more stringent national environmental standards. To this end, it is anticipated that the industry will begin moving from 12-volt battery systems to 48-volt systems.

This change opens the door for a cost-effective electric boosting technology solution featuring e-chargers and e-turbos to help improve efficiency and performance of the internal combustion engine in a mild hybrid vehicle. E-boosting products can significantly improve engine responsiveness and also provide better fuel economy. Specific to diesel, it also has the potential to significantly reduce pollutant emissions, like mononitrogen oxide (NOx), and help meet more stringent regulations including the Real-Driving Emissions test in Europe.

Electrics and hybrids are expected to grow from a total of 3 million vehicles in 2016 to a total of 16 million by 2021. Within the electrified category, mild hybrids are expected to account for 46% of the mix; full hybrids will account for 40%; and pure electric vehicles will be most of the remaining 14%. Honeywell estimates 70% of all mild hybrid vehicles will have a turbo or multiple turbo systems (mechanical and electric). In addition, Honeywell has drawn upon its engineering competencies in the automotive and aerospace industries to create a new two-stage electrical compressor used by Honda Motor Co. for its hydrogen-powered Clarity Fuel Cell vehicle.

More findings from the forecast include:

  • The projected increase in annual sales of vehicles with a turbo from 38 million today to 52 million in 2021 equates to a 35% increase, or 6% CAGR (compounded annual growth rate) compared with a 2% CAGR for all global industry sales.

  • The global turbo business is expected to reach almost $12 billion in industry sales in 2021.

  • Globally, diesel engines will retain a significant share of global light vehicle sales at nearly 18 percent, due to their lower fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions. Diesel engines also provide increased torque, range and driving pleasure especially for pickup trucks, SUVs and light commercial vehicles, which remain extremely popular.

  • Vehicle complexity will increase with the onboarding of new technology, making automotive software such as Honeywell’s OnRAMP Design Suite a key enabler for meeting more stringent emission regulations. The automotive industry currently spends between $2 billion and $4 billion a year just on the development and calibration of powertrain controls to manage a vehicle’s engine and after-treatment functions such as diagnostics. OnRAMP can reduce development time from months to days as well as help optimize engine controls of subsystems designed to reduce CO2 and other emissions.

Regional highlights include:

  • In North America, more engine downsizing is expected. The current average engine size is a 3.0-liter six-cylinder. As the region continues to shift from larger naturally aspirated engines to smaller turbocharged ones, Honeywell is working to provide more twin-scroll turbo technology support, which extracts more energy from four-cylinder exhaust profiles. Honeywell expects light vehicle sales of turbocharged vehicles to grow 11 points to 33% of regional sales or more than 7 million vehicles by 2021. Turbocharged diesel engines will continue to be in demand on light-duty trucks.

  • Europe will easily remain the global leader with an overall turbo penetration of 74%. The mix between gasoline and diesel will shift slightly as gas turbo penetration in light vehicle sales grows 9 points to 52% in 2021. Additional technology benefits are needed as many automakers still have a gap of 15 to 30 g/km before meeting the 2021 target of 95 g/km.

  • In China, emissions regulations are scheduled to become the toughest in the world. These new rules will favor the development of gasoline turbocharged engines and wider adoption of electrification. China will be the highest growth market for turbocharged light vehicles with an 16 point increase in penetration of total sales. This equates to an expected 80% increase in the number of annual sales in 2021 at more than 13.5 million versus 7.5 million in 2016.

    Honeywell is supporting this massive turbo adoption in China especially in the three-cylinder engine segment using its third-generation gas technology. This features a wastegate with a Honeywell-developed mono-block arm and valve, reducing noise by 5 to 10 decibels and improving fuel economy by up to 0.5% with better controllability and 50 percent less wear due to repetitive motion within the turbo housing.

  • Other regions including Japan, Korea, India and South America will see on average a 7% growth in turbocharging volume driven by the expected recovery of South America and Southeast Asia economies, and more stringent regulations including India’s Bharat Stage 6 and Brazil’s Inovar-Auto and future programs.


Methodology. Honeywell’s annual Transportation Systems industry forecast looks at the next five years of transportation technology trends including turbo penetration as well as the growing use of automotive software and electric boosting products among anticipated global vehicle sales.

Honeywell’s forecast methodology is based on multiple sources including, but not limited to, macroeconomic analyses, original equipment manufacturers’ production and development plans shared with the company, and expert deliberations from automotive industry. The survey sample is representative of the entire industry in terms of geography, operation and fleet composition.



Consider the IC engine is entering a classification of tri generation; heat, power, and torque. Also, the electric valve train (no camshaft) is yet to be adapted that will provide a major improvement within emissions, torque, and efficiency. Add to that the higher octane fuel that will allow engineers to yet again improve engine performance and probably with a fuel that has much less carbon.

The mild hybrid is an easy cost justification and can be the plug in variety if customer so desires to spend the extra money to do so.

So, the environmental benefit of utilizing grid power for transportation is fading. If we lesson the grid demand, we can green that sector up with renewable or low carbon power and do so faster. To that end it makes good sense to utilize natural gas as much as possible for the end user. To avoid the conversion of natural gas to power and suffer that efficiency loss within and stack up the loss with grid distribution loss back to consumer. Problem with utilizing NG for vehicles is the high cost of pumping and investment to do so.

Also, consider there are many ideas developing for improvement of the grid or even to downsize the grid. That no country has "the" solution. This technology is fluid, meaning everyone is trying to utilize solar and wind or what have you in the most efficient production and use ways. The transformation may be staggering given the cost, time, choices, and competing technology. No one wants to rush ahead and expense a mistake. This is evolutionary transition stuff as if not the project would have break the economy gamble. It will affect vehicles, appliances, power storage, and power production. Hopefully, the power sector will provide much more energy in the future and with much more efficiency and much lower emissions. We need to remember the technology will always improve and solutions may emerge that we never thought of before. We shouldn't hamstring technology by running to regulators to head off any improvements to compete with our desires also known as biases.


Trees, you have no idea how refreshing it was to find your post here before Henrik comes to paste his
(1) planet destroying ICE
(2) 1000000000 mi electric drivetrain and
(3) TeslaTeslaTeslaTeslaTeslaTesla
comments once again.

Personally I drive a PHEV ('13 Volt). Now that the mid-continental US winter has arrived I'm reminded of how much an ICE makes sense when properly used -- even one that isn't nearly as advanced as the engines that are finding their way to the street in the next couple of years.

When I drove a Leaf for two winters, I was dismayed to calculate the energy use to run the car in the cold (below 32F/0C). Preheat was mandatory to preserve range, and when in stop-and-go traffic the 3-4kW constant load, as well as low battery temperature, consumed range like crazy. When I stopped to realize that I was using Coal/NG-produced electricity transmitted/transported 10s of km to charge a battery that was then discharged through a resistance heater, in fact an ICE was a less wasteful solution. Without question, below 15F/-10C, allowing the engine to cycle about 20% of the time is a net emission savings (this is my setting on the Volt).

Overall, with the consideration of vehicle mass (which directly affects the production of particulates from tire wear as well as the embedded energy in materials) and of course the price of the product which needs to be affordable enough to get the more efficient answer into the hands of drivers, the advanced ICE with low-voltage (48v) electrification is the answer for the great majority fraction of drivers for the next decade or so.

Yes, some of us will definitely want the EV driving experience for much of our daily transport (I certainly do) and will opt for a Plug-In variant. Zero-tailpipe emission operation may be required in some urban areas. And some will live in the right climate with the infrastructure for truly convenient charging and choose the BEV. Electrification will permeate the fleets of N America, Europe, Japan and probably China. But ICE technology will still have a significant place, with probably 2/3 of cars sold in OECD nations having an engine performing some function in LDVs through 2030.


The alternator could be a motor as well for mild hybrid. With enough power for take off it could become and alternator to power electric boost for the rest of the acceleration.

When I stopped to realize that I was using Coal/NG-produced electricity transmitted/transported 10s of km to charge a battery that was then discharged through a resistance heater, in fact an ICE was a less wasteful solution.

This.  I've long said that EVs should use propane-fired engines to cogenerate heat instead of either resistance heaters or fuel-fired furnaces.

Dr. Strange Love

It is a circuitous problem. I don't want to solve it. A Heat pump offers more return on any given input. I am Ok with your Propane engine as well. It makes environmental practical sense.


I do think the battery car is way oversold as the solution to low polluting transportation. Step one would be to fix the grid. That is an gargantuan task, that will take decades. We don't even have the "solution", yet. The "solution" is tangled up within politics. We should step back and empower the best minds and companies to make the change, but since the solution is so political, we will get a miss mash. Also, this will take a learning path to gradually adapt new technology. Meaning we just can't build more wind turbines or solar arrays as the solution. We don't have a good battery yet and the fuel cell is still evolving. So, the ICE hybrid will come to the rescue with practical products for the foreseeable future.

The alternative fuel ICE is expected to gain in sales. Remember, the retired Canadian Engineer that developed Phill for at home NG refueling? He had a great solution. If you followed that product path, well, you know regulators and the auto industry killed the product. That history and the history of ethanol convinces me of collusion of gov't and international corporations are running the show within most of our large expenditures.

Natural gas is a good fuel source, since it has so much natural H2. Also, the ease to inject biogas within the pipeline will gradually improve the fuel.

I did follow the steam engine development of the Cyclone and very impressed, but the external heat source is doomed or shackled with low efficiency.

Absorption heat pump is a good solution for space heating and cooling, even refrigeration. That should be a priority to improve carbon emissions and minimize grid power. Again natural gas the solution. If you strip out all the wasteful electrical use within the household, one could easily power up with DC and a small battery. No grid required. Much to gain with absorption heat pump, CHP, and biomass.

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