Future of Turbocharging
Roads are becoming more crowded, air quality will remain an issue, and we will be facing increasingly limited petroleum supplies as Peak Oil  becomes more apparent. Given the two basic types of turbocharging, the ambient air driving the compressor and the recirculating exhaust gasses doing so, it seems clear that the latter will be the only design, given present technologies. It pretty much is imperative to have all cars turbocharged, and one can see turbos as standard equipment. One may consider the introduction of natural gas in conjunction with turbochargers, further increasing the already efficient burning of that fuel. “Boosting” the fuel with substances that also enhance combustion may be in the offing. This will be essential if fuels not as efficient as gasoline are used. Ultimately, the goal is to have every molecule burned, and technological development will have this as the primary goal.
However, long-range, problems remain. Currently, there is a heavy reliance on fossil fuels, meaning that only alternative and renewable energy sources, such as hydroelectric, geothermal, wind, and solar (or, probably, a combination of these) will resolve the issue, biofuels being an exception. Turbochargers are only a stopgap to fuel economy. There cannot be a continued reliance on petroleum, given Peak Oil, environmental degradation, and world political conditions. Increasing traffic congestion militates against the use of private vehicles. Certainly in the metropolitan areas, either there will have to be an increasing reliance on intelligent vehicles that can be integrated into a network where all vehicles are coordinated in a traffic management scheme, or there will have to be public transportation. The cost of sophisticated technologies has to be reduced significantly if the average person is to have a private vehicle and maintain it. In former times, it was a relatively easy matter to get a car repaired at reasonable cost. However, even though durability has been built into modern vehicles, the cost of maintaining them is rising to an extent so as to make ownership available only to wealthier individuals. Given the increase of the world’s population and increasing limitation of the world’s resources, it is problematical whether there will be enough resources to produce a vehicle for everyone. Still turbos can be used on public transportation.
More interesting reads on turbocharging are also available here.