Auto-component supplier Bosch projects that the percentage of cars and light trucks fitted with fuel-saving start/stop technology will skyrocket in the very near future -- reaching virtually a 50 percent use level in Europe by 2012. While the firm did not make any predictions for the U.S. market, there's little doubt that the empirical gains in mileage that start/stop can generate will see significant parallels for its use in our fleet as well.
Stefan Asenkerschbaumer, president of the Bosch Starter Motors and Generators division, pointed out that while the current penetration of start/stop in Europe is about five percent, "by 2012, we estimate this will be every second newly registered vehicle -- most of them with Bosch technology." Since introducing its start/stop package in 2007, the company has delivered some 500,000 systems to Mini and Fiat alone.
In Europe, where significantly reducing CO2 emission levels has become an increasingly thorny issue, Bosch says its fuel-saving start/stop system can enhance mileage by up to five percent on the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) while bringing down greenhouse gas levels by a corresponding amount. Its data indicate those figures rise to nearly eight percent on the urban portion of the cycle. The core component of Bosch's system is a compact starter unit that has been comprehensively reengineered to accommodate a more rigorous duty cycle that includes diesel applications. Supplemental elements include control software that interfaces with the engine's existing Electronic Control Module, a crankshaft sensor with its own evaluation electronics and a battery sensor that monitors and manages the charge levels in the system.