Stop-start technology to advance more micro hybrids by 2016
Using a newly developed booster module for the on-board electrical system, Continental (provider of the image) has especially laid the groundwork for making vehicle stop-start systems even more convenient and efficient.
The term micro hybrids should not be confused, though, with micro-sized vehicles. It’s all about a less expensive form of drive system without all the hoopla and costs surrounding dual propulsion hybrids like the Prius, the expense of the serial propulsion of the Chevy Volt, and the range limited full EVs like the Nissan Leaf
While some believe Asian markets are likely to gain the most from the technology with their huge congestion patterns, American roads are far more congestive than they used to be. Furthermore, gasoline prices are more likely to rise than go down from here; especially if oil rises due to the dollar falling.
2016 Mandates Affecting Everything
While the adoption of the stop-start technology has been slow in the U.S., that is changing fast, simply due to the 2016 Federal Fuel mandates and the EPA’s push for lower carbon emissions; but wait, there’s more. Although there is no parallel electric drive, the end result is still the same; fuel is saved and emissions are lower.
For the record, stop-start technology is far less costly than dual-propulsion hybrids, costing only $300 to $400 for automakers to add. It functions by shutting down the engine at stoplights, then starting it up again when the driver lifts his foot from the brake to accelerate.
The challenge for automakers has been putting stop-start technology on conventional cars with relatively small 12-volt batteries. When shut down, there is still a great drain to run accessories like air-conditioning.
The tendency of the media to equate hybrid with electricity drives them to cover expensive lithium-ion batteries as the preferred means for storing energy. However, there is more than one way to store energy.
The latest innovations by Continental are not alone, as Ioxus shows that an ultra-capacitor with its unique lithium-ion design has great promise for fully electrical systems.