Save fuel by stopping the engine before the vehicle

10th December 2013
Nat Bowers

Helping to combat the ever rising cost of fuel, Bosch has developed a new start-stop coasting function which stops the engine when the vehicle is in motion to save fuel. The new system stops the engine whenever the vehicle can maintain its speed simply by rolling (i.e. on a slope). As soon as the driver touches the accelerator or brake pedal, the engine starts up again. Bosch's new start-stop coasting function enables travel in zero-emission, noise-free, and low-resistance mode over large parts of the journey.

Bosch have conducted testing which shows that the combustion engine is running pointlessly for about 30% of the time: it could coast for almost a third of every journey. Under real traffic conditions, this function will give drivers a fuel saving of roughly 10%. The new innovative system utilises enhanced software to analyse existing sensor data. Configured to cope with greater loads and to deliver faster restarts, the function requires few additional components and can be integrated in just about any vehicle in the world.

Drivers worldwide can benefit from the new technology. Also this is very environmentally friendly, since reduced fuel consumption also means lower CO2 emissions. In 2012, three million new vehicles were sold in Germany, with each being driven around 11,500 kilometers per year (average). If every new car were equipped with the coasting system and emitted just ten grams less CO2 per kilometer, then there would be an annual reduction in CO2 of over 30,000 metric tons.

Dr. Rolf Bulander, member of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH, comments: "The start-stop coasting function is affordable, can be combined with any type of combustion engine, and substantially reduces fuel consumption. Bosch is confident that start-stop coasting will soon become an everyday feature in cars – just like air conditioning"

Today, some vehicles are already equipped with double-clutch transmissions, which act as a “light” version of the coasting system. The system switches the engine to idle when the driver takes their foot off the accelerator pedal. While this will reduce fuel consumption, the vehicle is consuming fuel in order to keep the engine ticking over. Bosch start-stop systems, however, stop the vehicle's engine altogether.

The first generation system stops the engine only when the vehicle is completely stationary, while the enhanced system cuts the engine as soon as the vehicle is coasting. Vehicles equipped with the new Bosch start-stop coasting function stop the engine while the vehicle is in motion, once the driver's foot is off both the accelerator and the brake pedals. This saves even more fuel and, since the engine is disengaged, the vehicle can coast for longer.

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