In order to reduce CO2 emissions to 104 g/km for the C30 and 107 g/km for the Volvo S40 and V50, the new DRIVe versions have been equipped with two intelligent new features. The first is a Start/Stop function that allows the engine to switch off when the car is at a standstill, whilst also maintaining comfort settings such as the air conditioning.
When the driver puts the gear lever into neutral and releases the clutch while at a standstill, the engine switches off. The next time the driver presses the clutch, the engine starts up again. This technology has reduced fuel consumption and thus CO2 emissions by 4-5% in mixed driving conditions. Start/Stop technology is particularly effective in urban traffic, when the saving can be as much as 8%.
When the car is at a standstill and the engine is switched off, some electronic systems such as the air conditioning step down to standby level in order to save fuel. However, Volvo's Start/Stop system continuously monitors the comfort level and automatically reactivates the air conditioning if, for instance, the temperature increases in the passenger compartment. The system does not set any limits for comfort-focused features such as the sound system or other facilities that the occupants will want to maintain.
This innovative monitoring system has been made possible due to an additional small battery which supports the larger battery by providing extra power. Thanks to this extra battery, Volvo's DRIVe models also feature particularly quick and smooth start-up. The audio system also remains unaffected when the starter motor is activated. This distinguishes Volvo Car's solution from other systems offered by the competition. The standard larger battery has also been upgraded to handle up to 175,000 Start/Stop cycles.
The driver continuously receives feedback about system status via the in-car information display. The Start/Stop function can be engaged and disengaged via a DRIVe button in the centre console and in the default setting, the function is activated.
The second new feature in the Volvo C30, S40 and V50 DRIVe 1.6D with Start/Stop is a regenerative charge facility. This charges the battery as soon as the driver releases the accelerator or brakes while a gear is engaged. By harnessing the car's kinetic energy, the alternator does not have to use diesel fuel as a power source to recharge the car's battery. Fuel savings of between 2 and 3% have been achieved with this function.
Related Article: Volvo DRIVe Range With Start/Stop and Increased Fuel Efficiency
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