Our long-term Peugeot has managed to make the tedious process of sitting in traffic jams slightly more enjoyable.
A simple addition to the dashboard is a timer, which provides a summary of the total engine idle time avoided using its stop/start system.
This simple system switches off the engine when you aren’t moving, if you have the car out of gear with the clutch out.
Normally, I manage less than a minute a day thanks to a jam-free, short commute, but a recent event proved the Peugeot system to be one of the best I have come across in more challenging traffic.
On the way into the event, the timer registered 32 minutes of engine idle time saved and on the way out, it was 29 minutes – more than an hour in total.
I have driven cars with stop/start systems that are so feeble that the engine is back on within 90 seconds as there is no battery capacity to run the car’s systems without the engine generating power. The Peugeot seems to have stamina to spare and I never reached its limit.
Typically, a car will use about 0.3 gallons of fuel an hour when idling, so if your drivers face lots of traffic jams on their travels, a good system could provide substantial savings that would outweigh the initial lower costs of cheaper stop/start technology fitted to some cars.
For example, say the system was off for 30 minutes a day, then across 250 working days, that would equate to 125 hours of saved idling time. With each hour saving 0.3 gallons of fuel from being burnt, that would be 41 gallons or, at £6.17 a gallon, £253 a year.
Over a four-year cycle, this equates to more than £1,000 of fuel saved, so in urban areas is could really make a difference and make you hate traffic jams that little bit less.