Case of The Mondays: Now You Can Install an Electric Turbocharger in Your PWC…Kinda

Top level technology has its way of getting around to us everyday-types and the hybrid electric turbos used in F1 racing are no exception. Particularly this, the Magneti Marelli hybrid electric turbocharger system. So what exactly is an electric turbo? It’s basically a traditional turbo backed by an electric motor strapped on. This motor allows the turbo to “harvest excess energy” from exhaust gas when boost isn’t needed, and spool up the turbo earlier when boost is needed and there’s not enough exhaust energy.

Like traditional mechanical turbos, a wastegate is needed to scrub excess boost and exhaust gases, as it is the electric motor maintaining the velocity of the turbine when boost is low or too high. This is how the electric turbocharger excels over mechanical turbos, as it helps control potentially damaging boost spikes. Now, don’t be fooled, they are quite a bit heavier, more expensive and more complicated than regular turbos, which is why they’re nowhere near as popular…yet.

In all, the electric turbo offers zero lag, and operates on any traditional 12-volt battery power before launching (zero or low boost) and between gears (scrubbed boost). Best of all, while under full boost, the electric turbocharger actually charges the battery like a high current alternator!

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Kevin Shaw

Editor-in-Chief – Kevin Shaw is a decade-long powersports and automotive journalist whose love for things that go too fast has led him to launching The Watercraft Journal. Almost always found with stained hands and dirt under his fingernails, Kevin has an eye for the technical while keeping a eye out for beautiful photography and a great story.

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