Mercedes-Benz has launched a new ECO-Start system on its
Sprinter vans which claims to boost fuel economy by around 6%.
A spokesman said: “Not only can the new ECO-Start system
slash fuel bills, it also reduces harmful exhaust emissions.
And all by the simple expedient of cutting the engine while the vehicle is stationary.”
The system works by stopping the engine whenever the vehicle stays still for more than two seconds, then automatically starting again when the driver depresses the clutch pedal.
For multi-drop delivery operations or driving through busy city centres, or in heavy traffic, the potential savings are significant.
The system is activated by a rocker switch on the dashboard,
and even when on will only work when the engine is up to normal operating temperature and if the driver selects neutral and lifts off the clutch pedal while stationary.
Optionally available on all new Sprinters with four-cylinder
engines and manual gearboxes, ECO-Start is an enhanced version of the Motor Start Stop (MSS) system, which worked in a similar way on previous model Sprinters and returned some startling results in independent trials by leading commercial vehicle magazines, including Fleet Van.
The spokesman added: “Our own tests in the UK have shown a reduction in fuel consumption of at least 6%, so operators in urban environments have everything to
gain with ECO-Start.
“Using less fuel also cuts the amount of exhaust gas
And there are fatigue benefits too, because most
drivers find it much more relaxing to have the engine off,
rather than idling, when stuck in traffic or at the lights.”
The ECO-Start system, plus the uprated battery and alternator that are also required, costs £545.