At the Geneva Motor Show this week a number of car-makers, including BMW, Daihatsu, Lotus and others, either showed or talked about cars equipped with start-stop systems to help improve fuel economy and emissions. Basically, the idea of start-stop is give some of the benefit of a hybrid at minimal cost, by shutting off the internal combustion engine whenever the vehicle comes to a stop, and then re-starting as soon as the brake is released. The manufacturers of the systems that were displayed were Valeo and Bosch.

The Bosch system goes into production this month and will be installed on the updated BMW 1-series. The Bosch system basically consists of a beefed up starter motor, along with some electronic control that monitors, the accelerator, brake and clutch positions and the battery voltage. If the battery voltage is too low, the system disables, but otherwise functions to improve mileage up to eight percent in urban driving. Obviously highway driving will be unaffected, but that's not a bad improvement for a system that requires no other changes to the drive-train.

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[Source: Robert Bosch GmbH]


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