The Pros and Cons of an Electric Supercharger

October 31, 2012

Common in the back page advertising of many popular magazines, the electric supercharger offers affordable pricing, and easy to install solutions for quick horsepower gains. Capable of being fitted to a variety of cars in minutes, and offering up to 5-10% power gains, these kits may be quite tempting to a consumer itching to improve the power of their car. Before you order a kit however, take a look at some of the pros and cons involved, so you can decide if you are truly getting what you're paying for.

Pros of an Electric Supercharger

Cost is a large advantage when it comes to the electric supercharger. While even basic, bolt-on turbocharger kits start at about $1,800 to $2,800, most electric supercharger kits range between $40 and $80. In addition, even for the experienced mechanic, the average turbocharger kit will take about 4-8hours to install the components themselves. Figuring out a fuel and ignition solution may take even longer if not supplied with the kit. In contrast, most electric supercharger kits take about 5-10 minutes to install, with all fuel and ignition changes handled by the factory computer.

Cons of an Electric Supercharger

Perhaps one of the biggest disadvantages to the electric supercharger is the fact that their true performance gains almost never match up with those advertised. Power gains advertised are generally said to be about 5-10%, but in reality there may be no measurable gains at all. The reason for the differences between a true supercharger or turbocharger kit's power increases and those found with an electric supercharger stem mainly from the differences in their construction. A supercharger or turbocharger is made from cast and machined metal components, balanced to precise tolerances, and capable of flowing large amounts of air while dealing with intense temperature ranges. This vastly increased airflow is matched with additional fuel in order to make the extra power. With an electric supercharger, you have a small, inefficient blade design powered by a small electric motor.

This motor is not only unable to flow enough air to make substantial gains, but its bulky design itself restricts potential airflow. This means that while the device may generate mild boosts in airflow, these boosts are almost always negated by the fact that the intake would likely flow more air by simply removing the supercharger itself. In addition, superchargers and turbochargers are precision devices designed to work in specific applications. With a generic electric supercharger that is capable of fitting all vehicles, you lose any hope of matching similar tolerances, as this is simply impossible in a one-size-fit-all style design.

As the saying goes, you get what you pay for. Expensive forced induction kits are expensive due to the precise construction and complete array of components included for proper fitment. Most electric supercharger kits in contrast are cheap because you are simply buying a small motor and fan. While electric superchargers have some pros, it is likely the serious consumer will find the cons to be the far more noticeable side of the deal.

Related Questions and Answers

Where can You find a Helpful Electric Supercharger Review?

If you are looking for a good source of information about superchargers, and to find an electric supercharger review, check out the website The site offers an overview of what an electric supercharger does, and what to look for when buying a supercharger. There are also reviews of the various electric superchargers on the market. You can order superchargers directly from the site. This site claims to have reviewed all of the electric superchargers on the market so you should be able to find one that meets your needs. An electric supercharger is an economical way to give your vehicle a boost. They are much less expensive and easier to install than a forced air induction system.