Using the on-board computer to control the supercharger is a great asset to achieving the higher MPG requirements. It does allow for separation of the charger from the RPM's of the engine. This is the kind of thing that is thinking out of the box.
I think the biggest advantage is going to be the flexibility of operation. The supercharger can be turned off and on and does not have to be continuously engaged. I would like to know how much power it uses since it has to come from somewhere. A battery, depending on it's size is fine but adds more to the complexity. Driving the supercharger from the vehicles alternator might not be very efficient overall. Having the ability to boost engine power output for short term use might be helpful but it seems the power to drive the compressor has to be a lot less than the increase in engine output.
It seems at times that there is nothing new under the sun. I recall that in the 1950s, the Turbonique Company offered an electric motor (looked like a starter motor) driven centrifugal supercharger kit. it worked with widely varying degrees of success (or failure).
The company sold several other products including pure rockets, turbine motors, and what looked like a really neat axial-flow gas turbine. While an undergraduate at the U of I, I tried to sign on as a Turbonique dealer. it all fell through when the company's founder was indicted on mail fraud charges and Turbonique was dissolved.
Anyone can search YouTube and see some young guys screwing around with hand held leaf blowers providing boost on 4cyl and 6cyl cars on a dyno. These vids are usually not far from some other guys that hold a nitrous bottle and discharge it at an engines air inlet. Taking up as much space, weight, engineered know-how and likely money as a direct engine driven supercharger the electric-supercharger does not have all that much to offer. It seems to me Ogura with all their experience in clutches might be better off simply making an engine driven part-time blower., but of course they'd cut themselves out of an electric blower drive motor.
California State University, Chico was the first school in California to offer an ABET-accredited degree program in mechatronic engineering. Now its California Mechatronics Center works with industry on machinery, robotics, and surveillance vehicles.
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