"Yes, of course. We are working heavily on this," said Jose Avila, Continental board member in charge of powertrain, on the sidelines of a technology show here. Valeo, which uses a 48-volt electric motor to power an "electric supercharger," says the device can also improve fuel economy. Avila said Continental's electric turbo will follow the same basic layout as Valeo's system. "It's an electrically assisted turbo. The idea is the same," he said.
Continental, which produced its first turbocharger in 2011, has broken into the market dominated by BorgWarner Inc. and Honeywell. BMW uses Continental turbochargers on its BMW i8 and Mini Cooper.
"The business is growing heavily because of the tendency for downsizing and direct injection," Avila said. "Our objective is to try to take advantage of that, not just to try to displace an incumbent."