We've seen a lot of start-stop tech showing up hand in hand with turbocharging, direct injection, and partial electrification. What's its role in the foursome and when is it poorly implemented?Subscribe with iTunes (audio) Subscribe with iTunes (video) Subscribe with RSS (audio) Subscribe with RSS (video) EPISODE 48 SHOW NOTES
Modernizing 150-year-old battery technology may be one of the cheapest routes to hybrid autos.
Axion Power International has a developed an advanced lead-acid battery it hopes will attract automakers and grid storage providers. The basic chemistry and components are the same, but the company has an activated carbon negative electrode, a change that leads to better performance over time, according to the company.
In the auto industry, the company is targeting start-stop hybrids in particular. Also called microhybrids, start-stop systems feature a small battery to run a car's electronics when idle and to aid in accelerating.
Unlike an all-electric … Read more
General Motors today said it will bring hybrid technology to Buick models that will improve fuel efficiency by about 25 percent using what GM calls "light electrification."
The powertrain, called eAssist, uses a lithium ion battery with high power but relatively little storage capacity. Like a traditional hybrid, the battery will help propel the car with up to 11 kilowatts of power from a stopped position and store energy from braking.
The battery also runs the electrical systems when the car is idle, allowing the gas engine to turn off, and provides a boost during cruising to avoid … Read more
Ford today said it plans to bring start-stop technology to the U.S. in 2012 in order to improve fuel economy by a modest amount at a relatively low cost.
Start-stop technology, which is also called microhybrid or idle-stop technology, turns off a vehicle's engine when theis not moving.
On-board energy storage keeps the Read more's electrical system working for functions such as heating and lights. When the driver puts a foot on the accelerator, the engine turns back on. The on-board battery is charged when the driver slows downs and helps move the from idle. …
Audi is pushing to improve its fuel economy and CO2 emissions. Starting this summer, its modular efficiency platform will benefit from additional new technologies: The onboard computer with the efficiency program and the start-stop system will raise the efficiency and convenience of the Audi models, according to the automaker. By 2012, the company projects the fuel consumption of the Audi model range should drop by 20 percent.
The start-stop system is great for city driving by significantly reducing consumption while relieving the driver: The system shuts down the engine once the car has come to a stop, the gear lever … Read more
Stealing a move from the hybrid playbook, Volvo will present three cars at the Geneva auto show that improves fuel efficiency by turning the engine off when the car is at a standstill.
The European DRIVe versions of the C30, S40, and V50 are equipped with 1.6-liter diesel engines, paired with manual transmissions, and feature Volvo's Start/Stop system. When a driver puts the car in neutral while stopped and releases the clutch, the engine automatically turns off. The engine automatically restarts the next time the driver presses the clutch. The Start/Stop technology reduces fuel consumption by 4 percent to 5 percent in mixed driving conditions, and as much as 8 percent in urban traffic.… Read more
Fiat released this preview of the new Fiat 500C before the unveiling at the 2009 International Motor Show in Geneva, and before its launch throughout Europe in the spring.
The Fiat 500C's soft top is fully motorized and features a glass rear window. The top is available in three colors (ivory, red, and black) and will be matched with several body colors, including two exclusive cabriolet-only colors: brilliant Pearl Red and special Warm Grey.
Aside from the new soft top, the 500C is exactly the size as the basic model, which is just fine by us. The convertible offers … Read more
Battery-management chips illustrate how sophisticated electronic control units are proliferating in cars.
Most vehicles already have some form of battery management system in place. At the very least, it monitors the battery's charging and discharging, and how much of a charge the battery has left.
"It really just takes a smart controller to manage the battery," says Kyle Williams, director of automotive systems integration at Robert Bosch LLC.
More intelligent controls can prioritize power demand from multiple electronic devices.
Take fuel-saving stop-start systems, which are spreading rapidly across vehicle lines in Europe and making inroads in North … Read more