We're used to hearing about European cars being equipped with automatic start-stop systems that shut down the engine when the vehicle is stationary. In 2008, Mercedes-Benz began offering such a system on its Atego medium duty trucks, and the technology is proving popular. In the first half of this year, sales of the Atego equipped with the auto start-stop have jumped significantly. Through the end of June, Mercedes moved 2,600 Ategos with start-stop; compare this to 1,100 in all of 2008.
Like other such systems, the engine shuts down when the truck comes to a halt with the transmission in neutral and clutch pedal released. Similarly, pressing the clutch pedal automatically re-fires the engine. The benefit? Start-stop gives the Atego a three percent reduction in fuel consumption and emissions.
Sales Record for Mercedes-Benz Atego with Automatic Engine Start/Stop System
* Over 2,600 Mercedes-Benz Atego trucks with engine start/stop system delivered from January through June 2009
* Sales in first half of 2009 already double the total for all of 2008
* 61 percent of Mercedes-Benz Atego trucks in Germany equipped with engine start/stop system in first half of the year
* Average fuel consumption reduced by up to three percent
More than 2,600 Mercedes-Benz Atego medium-duty trucks with the automatic engine start/stop system were sold in the first half of 2009. That corresponds to a sales increase of about 1,500 units or 130 percent compared to the total recorded in all of 2008. In Germanyalone, 2,000 Mercedes-Benz Atego trucks with engine start/stop system were sold; an increase of 1,100 trucks or more than 110 percent compared to the sales for all of 2008. Of all the delivered Mercedes-Benz Atego trucks in which the fuel-saving system can be installed, the share of vehicles equipped with engine start/stop system was 46 percent overall and 61 percent in Germany.
The automatic engine start/stop system is available as an option in the Mercedes-Benz Atego with manual transmission. The system shuts off the engine whenever the truck is stationary for at least three seconds, the transmission is in neutral, and the clutch is not engaged. As soon as the driver steps on the clutch, the engine automatically starts up again. The result is a reduction in fuel consumption of up to three percent, and the savings are even greater when the truck is used exclusively for city driving. There also is a corresponding decrease in CO2 emissions. For a Mercedes-Benz Atego used in short-distance service, the added cost of the system is thus recovered in just a few months.
In addition to the economic and ecological benefits, the medium-duty truck offers greater comfort for drivers, who enjoy the silence when the engine is turned off, without having to restart and shut off the engine with the ignition key every time.