That is a really good question that goes beyond stalled cars in traffic. I have an Audi Q5 Hybrid - a well engineerd car, but I do worry about the long term efffects of the temperature excursions that must occur within a hot engine, as well as the additional wear that I would think is associated with increased engine rotations without the lubrications system running (i.e, engine lubrication is at its lowest during start cycles since the oil pump is only minimally operating).
The compute power deployed in hybrids seems to be capable of deciding when to implement start-stop, and when not to (which my Audi appears to do). Are all cars using the start-stop technology going to employ the same sophisticated algorithms that the hybrids use?
I don't think that technology is the issue here, it is a matter of whether or not it is cost effective to employ that technology on an "inexpensive" start-stop system. I really love my new hybrid, and have to trust that the engineers at Audi have thought everything through, but it has not withstood the ultimate test of time yet.
As I imagine we have all experienced - engineers don't always have the final say in the design that is ultimately produced. Final designs are usually a compromise involving cost (understandably so).
Engineers need to keep asking the hard questions so that we end up with the best products possible for the dollar.
This is a good question. I don't believe there would be a problem with traffic stalls, Rob, since the engine is warmed up and the starters are designed for 250,000 to 500,000 starts. It's not as if the engine is being started cold every time, but this is a question that I need to discuss with some of the suppliers.
Another bunch of good questions here. In particular, I wonder about the software algorithms. My guess would be that the engine control algorithms can be tweaked to help deal with wear issues, especially by the automakers who are also building hybrids and already have the intellectual property. To be sure, we'll talk to the suppliers.
Gas-powered golf carts have been using this technology for decades. Step on the gas pedal and the engine immediately starts to drive you to the next hole. Let up on it and the engine stops. I always wondered why this never propogated to cars.
I used to laugh at the thought of a car starting and stoping with each traffic stop. I laughed until I was in a car that did that. I thought it was fascinating! It got me thinking of all the considerations for such a thing- airconditioning, lights, radio, and restarting, to name a few. Someone has been thinking! I am sold.
I hope it was an engineer that came up with this and not a high school student... Vanity rules!
You are going to have a lot of high-current starting cycles during the day if you drive in traffic, and not a great deal of time to recharge. SO battery lifetime will be shorter compared to the 3-7 years we know now, and you will need a higher capacity (more expensive) battery to handle the starting cycles.
Why not combine this concept with GPS & mapping technology - after all, we should be able to reasonable anticipate when a driver is letting up "gas" pedal because of an upcoming intersection versus simply slowing a bit. Also, I have found by experimenting in my car that simply bumping the transmission into neutral and while coming to stops can save a bit of gas as well.
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