Germany-based automotive supplier Hella has developed start-stop technology that can shut down an engine at speeds of up to 60 miles per hour if using all that torque is deemed unnecessary. This added benefit could increase fuel economy savings up to 10 percent over traditional stop-start systems that shut down the engine when the car is stopped, Martin Fischer, president of Hella Electronics, said at the recent Society of Automotive Engineers Convergence conference.

To keep things safe, steering and braking, which are both powered by the engine, will have a backup battery to make sure that if one battery fails, the other will kick in. This twin-battery can be programmed to maintain temperature inside the car after engine shutdown. Customers will be able to choose a low-powered lithium-ion battery pack or double-layer capacitors for the backup battery.

This will likely be the first time traditional internal combustion engines will have this capacity. There have been hybrids, like the Porsche Cayenne hybrid crossover utility vehicle, that can coast thanks to stop-start systems that can shut off the engine while moving to reduce fuel consumption. Hella developed its systems for partial hybrids and vehicles with traditional internal combustion engines.

First-generation stop-start systems are starting to find their way into mass-production vehicles, such as the 2013 Ford Fusion. Hella has been working on bringing this technology to market for a few years now.

Hella says the technology is coming, which makes the real question of commercial availability whether consumers will embrace it, Fischer said, and whether drivers will accept their car shutting down. Right now, start-stop kills the engine at red lights (something BMW has found not everyone likes). If this first generation becomes widely accepted, Fischer expects the second-generation at-speed start-stop to go into production in three-to-five years.


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  • 13 Comments
      goodoldgorr
      • 2 Years Ago
      I will be more interrested to buy if this start-stop is manual instead of automatic. I won't buy a gadjet that act by itself. Just put a push button for stopping the engine, then by pressing the gas pedal it will start. This can be use at stop lights and on the highway on demand and with control.
        Rob J
        • 2 Years Ago
        @goodoldgorr
        Yes. Just like your windshield wipers. I mean, you COULD just turn them on but then you don't have total control of your vehicle! I always manually actuate them. Same thing goes for cars with power lock and power windows, the idea that it would do anything automatically is absurd! Keep those gasgets out of my vehicle! /sarcasm
      sirvixisvexed
      • 2 Years Ago
      Haha, remember how using this picture in a past article for a piece about start/stop tech caused confusion? I mean why use a picture of that button? Push button start has no relation to start/stop tech. Might as well use a picture of anything under the sun that has the words "start" and "stop" on it.......wouldn't hurt to get creative with it next time :)
        EZEE
        • 2 Years Ago
        @sirvixisvexed
        In a three stooges episode, they needed to get into some place, but had no tickets. They see reporters going in, by showing 'press' credentials. So they run off twosome place that must have had some sort of equipment with buttons (this was like, the 30's, remember). They come back, with serious faces.... Moe shows a button that says, 'press' they let him in. Larry does the same, he gets in. Curly shows one that says, 'pull.' All hell breaks loose. You post made me think of that....
      Greg
      • 2 Years Ago
      Or, cars could simply shut off the fuel to the engine when it doesn't need to produce power, like when coasting--you know, like most modern cars already do.
      Aaron Schwarz
      • 2 Years Ago
      Good, they should investigate shallow cycling LiFePO4 versions of these "start stop batteries" between 30 and 80% SOC, so they can get tens of thousands of cycles out of them :)
      skierpage
      • 2 Years Ago
      Imagine how much more fuel owners would save if the engine could be shut down for even longer periods... by having a highly efficient and reliable electric motor power the car from a standstill. And then imagine how much money owners would save if some of that electricity came cheaply from a plug instead of from kinetic energy initially provided by burning fuel in the engine. 35 mpg is far away from 50 mpg, which is far from the MPGe numbers of plug-in cars. These systems for gasoline engines are bringing up the rear.
      Giza Plateau
      • 2 Years Ago
      I suppose an electric car could be considered start stop technology. But I don't see how fuel can be saved by running a combustion engine on the motorway unless they are willing to pulse it like a hypermiler. This claim is Fischy. Hella Fischy
        Rotation
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Giza Plateau
        I think they are referring to turning off the engine at highway speeds when coasting down. So almost pulsing, but more just stopping fuel/spark on deceleration. That's what I think at least. And these systems are already rolled out in some cars in Europe already, it is somewhat new to the US though.
        DaveMart
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Giza Plateau
        It is nothing to do with electric cars. The battery they talk about is simply to provide the stop/start, and in some instances regenerative braking. The article is also in error in saying that it is only just coming in. It is common on many models of cars in Europe.
      brotherkenny4
      • 2 Years Ago
      Doesn't it seem like this could have been done at any other time in the past? I suppose you could say that the price of fuel was so low that there was no need to have high efficiency, but I really doubt that, especially if you think about the real value of a dollar. For instance in the 70s gas went to 80 cents, which at the time was a lot. So, why wasn't it developed then? Anyway, I think you can thank the real threat to oil and ICEs that is coming from the EVs. Indeed, the republicans continue to hammer on EVs even as the election is nearly here. Now, no undecided voter is going to make a decision based on such a nerdy topic as EVs, suggesting that the rhetoric surrounding the EVs is not an attempt at political manilpulation, but is rather a real fear of the technology that could overthrow the oil industry that the republicans have been elected to protect and nurture.
        Dave D
        • 2 Years Ago
        @brotherkenny4
        This has been my frustration all along! They could have done so many, many things to improve efficiency for decades and it clearly was not in their interest to do so....or they would have. Businesses do what they get paid to do, plain and simple. A good example is the underside of a car. That are produces ~35% of the total aerodynamic drag of a car yet until the last couple of years, manufacturers made ZERO attempt to smooth it out or cover it even with cheap plastic where possible. They could have gotten another 3-4 mpg on the hwy from simply doing that at a cost of ~$50 per car. But it wasn't even something they considered.
      Rotation
      • 2 Years Ago
      First generation stop-start systems are not starting to find their way into mass-production vehicles like the 2013 Ford Fusion. First generation stop-start systems came onto the market in the 80s. The Japanese makers (Nissan, IIRC) started the ball rolling.
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