We are pretty big fans of the stop/start technology that is being implemented by a growing list of automakers lately, as it is a relatively inexpensive way to get some meaningful fuel economy and emissions benefits. The systems can be adapted to many different platforms, because all modern cars are already set up with the components to make it work. The alternators and starters need to be made more powerful, and are combined in the Valeo StARS system, which is going to be standard on the new Smart Micro-Hybrid model. For some pictures of the machine, click here.
Valeo has a demonstration on their website which shows how their system works. They also have other products which can raise the efficiency of the vehicle they are applied to. One of the other major benefits to this simple system is that you do not need to change your driving habits to make it work. Of course, you might be able to get higher mileage if you do adjust your driving style, but the system is seamless and will work whenever it can. That's good for consumers who just want their machines to work without any extra hassle.