backtop


Print 57 comment(s) - last by lelias2k.. on Jan 3 at 1:40 PM


The 2000 Volkswagen Lupo used start-stop to achieve a fuel economy of 75 mpg in Europe on a diesel engine. Manufacturers haven't brought the tech to non-hybrids in the U.S., due to flaws in the EPA's fuel economy testing.  (Source: Cars Plus Plus)
EPA is finally considering looking at the real value of stop start

Fuel economy ratings are supposed to provide an estimate of the vehicles' real-world performance, helping customers determine how efficient the vehicle is.  Unfortunately, the ratings are only as good as the tests that determine them, and in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's case, those tests aren't very good.

One significant oversight is stop start technology.  Overseas stop-start technology is featured on a host of models, including the Audi A3 TDI, BMW 1-Series, BMW 3-Series, Mazda 2, Mini Cooper, Toyota Yaris.  The technology is somewhat expensive -- it's about $500 extra to install -- however, it's more than worth it, providing fuel economy gains of around 7 percent.

The EPA's flawed test cycle, though, currently only includes one stop so the tech only earns automakers a 0.1 or 0.2 mpg increase in the official EPA mileage estimates, despite much larger real world gains.  Without the extra rating to justify the extra costs, manufacturers simply haven't been importing the tech on U.S. models. 

Currently, the only vehicles to feature the tech are hybrids such as the Toyota Prius, Honda Insight, Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid and BMW ActiveHybrid X6, as their electric systems allow the tech to be implemented at a much lower costs.  The net result is that at the end of the day, the U.S. is trailing the rest of the world in fuel economy.

Still the allure of models like the Volkswagen Lupo, which received an estimated 75 mpg, keep customers demanding that the EPA reconsider stop-start.  Robert Davis, Mazda's top product-development executive in North America, comments, "In Japan, we're seeing anywhere from 7 to 9 percent fuel economy gains from it. That's a jump from 33 to 37 miles per gallon in a metro environment."

Audi of America spokesman Christian Bokich complains, "We did not realize any savings in U.S. EPA estimates based on required testing cycles."

The EPA may finally be coming around and may try to fix its flawed test procedure.  It's taking public comment on stop-start technologies, currently, and will look to announce new procedures in April.  Those procedures could finally include a test with more stops.  Mazda is urging automakers to join together to lobby the EPA to give stop-start its just rewards.  While this is obviously a matter of personal interest to the company, it's also important industry wide, and to U.S. consumers.



Comments     Threshold


This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

RE: I dont see the fuss
By Spuke on 12/30/2009 1:53:30 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
~80% of Americans live in urban areas, a large percentage of that within big cities, to say that this technology is useless in the US is a major oversight.
You are misinterpreting that data. That 80% is the percentage of Americans that live in a metropolitan area . A metropolitan area as an area where the population is 100,000 or greater and typically includes a city where the population is 50,000 or greater. 55% of Americans live in metro areas where the population is 1 million or greater.


RE: I dont see the fuss
By omnicronx on 12/31/2009 12:39:22 AM , Rating: 2
I'm not misinterpreting anything, they basically mean the same thing . Urban areas in the US are usually either a town of at least 50k, or a certain population density per area. I could have said either and my point would be exactly the same. (if you look it up, you will find both at around 80% depending on where you look). Furthermore, even if you were correct, my point would be even more valid as a metropolitan areas have a higher population requirement.

What you fail to realize is anywhere you need to stop, whether that be traffic light, stop sign etc etc, stop and go technology can be used. It does not mean you need stop and go traffic to make use of it.

This was my point, these are the kind of things that would occur in higher population densities which consist of most of the US.

Stop and Go technology makes sense, but as Jason explains it is the EPA ratings that do not show how effective it can be because of faults in testing procedures.


RE: I dont see the fuss
By Keeir on 12/31/2009 2:31:49 AM , Rating: 2
errr... I think your misreading the data also.

For example, look at the City/Urban/Metro of Seattle (a place likely to pay for start/stop and has bad traffic)

Its true that ~2 million live in the "urban" area, but most live in the 500 person per square mile (more than 1 million). Thats what i'd call surburb since we are really talking about 2-3 people per acre counting as an "urban" area.

Metro. is even worse. Sure the average population density of the City is more than 7000 per square mile. But the Metro area minus the city is ~350 per square mile or 1/2 per acre....

Seems like even though 3.3 million might live in the metro area, more like 1-1.5 million live in an area where population density reachs 1,000 per square foot.

I also think you have an elevated opinion of start and stop. Start and Stop, on a convential ICE car, only benifits if the car has been stopped long enough to recope the cost of starting the engine again. In ideal conditions this can be less than 9 seconds (or maybe even less with Mazda's fancy cylinder placement) or more than 30 under less than ideal situations. Start/Stop doesn't make sense for stop signs or lights shorter than 15 seconds long (or that curb lane that is always inching forward). Now driving in the city at rush hour can have significant benifit... but shouldn't it be the manufactures expense to convey the benifit of a technology that is only useful to the consumer under very specific situations? (I know the majority of start and stop would not benifit me, so seeing an additional 8-9% EPA rating would just be frustrating and not tell me which car is actually more efficient)


RE: I dont see the fuss
By Alexstarfire on 12/31/2009 6:25:57 AM , Rating: 2
1,000 per square foot? Pics or it didn't happen. :P


“Then they pop up and say ‘Hello, surprise! Give us your money or we will shut you down!' Screw them. Seriously, screw them. You can quote me on that.” -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng referencing patent trolls














botimage
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki