From 2012, new EU regulations will not only reduce maximum levels of vehicle CO2 emissions across Europe to 130 g/km, but will also increase the demands on vehicle batteries. That’s because meeting this target is going to take more than just improved engine management – innovative battery technologies are absolutely key. Carmakers have not waited until now to meet these demands, they have been introducing the new technologies for a number of years in anticipation.
This makes the issue of hybrid technology more relevant than ever before. Car manufacturers use the term hybrid to emphasise the eco-friendly characteristics of their vehicles. There are various types of hybrid technology: Of these, Start-Stop is set to become the most important. Automatic Start-Stop vehicles are forecast to represent 70% of all vehicles produced in Europe by 2015. We already have millions of cars on our roads with Start-Stop technology. VW call their technology Blue Motion while BMW call it Efficient Dynamics, all other producers are building Start-Stop although they do not all have a special label. The technology they use is essentially the same.
With Start-Stop vehicles, the engine is switched off during short stops – for instance at traffic lights – in order to save fuel and reduce CO2 emissions by approximately 5 to 10%. But that is not all. Providing the batteries state of charge is sufficient, the alternator (this is what charges the battery) is also switched off. This means that the battery is now powering all electrical functions including braking, steering, climate control, safety systems, lights, entertainment to name a few.
Vehicles with automatic Start-Stop technology require specific Start-Stop batteries. The wrong battery not only impairs the Start-Stop function with environmental consequences, including an increase in fuel consumption of around 12%, but also reduces the service life of the battery itself dramatically. Tests have shown that conventional flooded batteries lose between 7 and 16% of their available capacity after just one week of being used in a Start-Stop vehicle. This means fitting the wrong battery could result in that battery failing (or being worn out) in two months.
You can identify the battery technology fitted to your car by looking for the following words on its label, VRLA or AGM or both or EFB. Also, as a rule of thumb, if your car is Stop-Start, you have one of these batteries and must use a similar battery at replacement time.
The Battery Guys are ready for this change, already stocking and supplying these revolutionary batteries to their customers. Should you wish to know more, or are unsure about what battery to order, contact us by email on firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone us on 0845 302 3044