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MyCarTech: Eco Idle ( 2017-09-25 )

In modern days, car makers are trying their best to maximize car engine performance, while many of them have moved on with Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV), the mild hybrid is an alternative that focuses on fuel economy, available at a lower cost and weight.

What is Eco Idle?

Eco Idle is also known as stop start system, when a car applies brakes and slowing down, the engine is continuously stopped and reactivated once the driver releases the brake. The technology was first introduced in the Volkwagen Polo Formel E back in 1981 whereby the system shuts off the engine when it idled for two seconds and automatically restart when switching gear. Later, the technology was widely adapted by many European cars in order to save fuel.

How does it work?

There are essentially three main parts involved in an idle-stop system,

  1.  Gasoline engine,
  2.  Electric starter/generator
  3.  Battery

The transfer of energy works in that order, both forwards and backwards depending on which state the car is in. When the car is slowing down, the stop-start systems use regenerative braking, whereby the rotational energy from the wheels turns the electric generator and creates electricity.

The generator sends electricity to the battery where it can be stored for later use. When the driver applies the brakes, however, the generator shuts off the gasoline engine. Pressing the accelerator pedal starts the engine once again by taking the stored energy from the battery and running it through an electric starter.

Does it save petrol?

If one is looking for a deal breaker for best fuel consumption car, the Eco Idle function shall not be your priority. Fuel consumption is highly dependable on one’s driving behavior. The potential fuel saving for cars with Eco Idle function is in the range of 3- 10%. For those who are heavy foot on the accelerator, the Eco Idle function will not be reflected on the petrol bill. Also, the Eco Idle performs varies with geographical factors. Driving in the city with multiple traffic lights encounters will resulting more idle time as compared to driving on the highway. Let’s put it this way, the more your car sit idle at a traffic junction, the more you save.

Recommended cars

Perodua Bezza Advance

Perodua Bezza Advance is equipped with Eco Idle function whereby the Eco indicator lights up to notify drivers when their driving behavior reaches eco-friendly levels. With ample of boot space as well as eco-friendly performance, the Bezza has becomes one of the best-selling sedan in the market.

Nissan Serena S-Hybrid

The Serena S-Hybrid uses Nissan technology, Alternator Regenerative Control Technology. Compared to a standard Serena, the Serena S-Hybrid has a more powerful ECO (Energy Control Motor) motor that doubles as an alternator and an engine starter motor. Nissan has fitted a special high-charging performance sub-battery to complement the standard lead acid 12V battery. Therefore, the fuel consumption minimized by varying the recharge rate of the alternator and reduces the amount of fuel required to move a vehicle from standstill and thus contributes to lower fuel consumption when driving in urban traffic.

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