Start-Stop Technology and the Future of Eco Driving

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With start-stop batteries in 1 in 6 cars you see on our Australian roads, we sat down with our resident Battery Expert, Anthony, to answer the most commonly asked questions regarding eco driving and start-stop technology.

So, Anthony. What is eco driving and why is it important?

Eco driving originated to reduce green house gas emissions through fuel consumption.

Are you talking about start-stop vehicles?

Yes, another word for it is idle start-stop or ISS. You’ll find it in 1 out of 6 cars on our roads today, including major car brands, such as: Mazda, Toyota, Ford, Porsche, Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Volkswagen, & many more.

So, are all start-stop batteries the same?

No actually, there are two types of start-stop batteries: 1) EFB which stands for enhanced flooded battery, this is a wet cell battery which you'll find predominantly in Asian-manufactured start-stop vehicles, & 2) AGM which stands for absorbed glass matt, this is a dry cell battery which you'll find predominantly in European start-stop vehicles.

Are there performance differences between the two battery types?

Yes, AGM batteries have an extended cycle life and are capable of delivering more power than EFB batteries. If your vehicle's original battery is an AGM you can only ever replace with AGM. However, EFB can be replaced with EFB or AGM.

So, what are the key benefits of start-stop AGM batteries?

They provide excellent cold start and low state of charge cranking performance and cycle stability, and therefore, are able to be drained repeatedly without affecting their reliability. Additionally, the dry cell technology of an AGM battery makes them safer because they do not have free-flowing acid (which means they won't leak even if they are accidentally damaged).

Does it's ability to be stable during its cycling makes it last longer?

Absolutely, up to 3 times longer than a standard lead acid battery.

What’s an example of how start-stop batteries have made a difference?

Today’s modern vehicles have over 150 more sensors and computers that require constant power compared to vehicles 15 years ago.

That’s so true, I rely on my rear sensors, auto adjust side view mirrors, windscreen wipers to start when it rains, my bum warmer on cold days, phone chargers x 5 for the family… Jeez it all adds up!

It does. The battery is no longer for just starting your car. It enables the safety functions including your rear and front sensors, camera, braking, communications & information systems to operate.

So, for all vehicles is it a better battery in terms of safety and performance?

Yes, while AGM ISS Batteries are a necessity in vehicles fitted with AGM, they can also be fitted in conventional vehicles to improve performance and provide longer life giving you more bang for your buck.

Make sure you choose the battery to fit your vehicle needs. Federal Batteries have a complete range of VARTA start-stop batteries available. Use our fitment guide to find the right battery for your vehicle. To find a VARTA stockist near you go to our stockist page, or to become a stockist call 1300 133 980.