Mercedes-Benz will introduce so-called “start-stop” technology throughout its entire passenger vehicle line, starting with the current A and B Class vehicles and the Smart.
The system is designed to stop the engine when the car stops and then instantly restart it when the accelerator pedal is pressed. Though such systems are often part of “mild hybrid” set-ups – where electric motors can provide the initial power at start-up – the Mercedes system is not part of a hybrid system.
However, the systems intended for the rear wheel drive Mercedes models are expected to use a regenerative power generation system to provide additional electrical power to the batteries to compensate for the higher electrical usage of the start-stop system.
Mercedes has not indicated whether this system will be used in United States models. The impetus for applying the technology to the entire product line appears to be European emissions standards restricting carbon dioxide emissions, which become more strict in 2012 than they are currently. Because start-stop systems eliminate engine idling, they are a means of reducing emissions without the need to make other modifications to the engine or drivetrain.