BMW to use electric turbochargers?

In an effort to stave off turbo lag it appears BMW has designed an all-electric turbocharger.

The unit, which has been patented, could find a home in BMW's next generation of performance cars, like the upcoming M3, or even higher powered petrol and diesel cars at the 5 and 3 Series' midlife refreshes.
Cleverly, rather than remaining idle until the engine puts it under load, the 'leccy turbo spools itself up to speed before the combustion engine does its thing and takes over from the electrical assistance.

This has a few advantages – fuel economy is greatly improved, and it keeps the engine working at its optimum, so turbo lag is pretty much eradicated.

As yet we've heard nothing from the firm about its electric turbo, but if BMW has patented it we can take a few things away:

1) It works.

2) It works well enough for BMW to use it.

3) It's coming our way.
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