Start-stop on the up

Start-stop on the up
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Start-stop vehicles already account for most new vehicle registrations in Europe, and are entering the aftermarket in rapidly increasing numbers. In this article, Exide explains the rise in popularity and how factors should react to the trend.

The start-stop market is growing at an unstoppable pace. Research by Technavio suggests that start-stop technology will see a compound annual growth rate of 20% between 2018 and 2022, making it the fastest-growing segment of the automotive market. European countries were among the first to introduce start-stop vehicles, which are now a key part of most major automotive markets across the Americas and Asia-Pacific.

Exide is reported to have invented start- stop AGM technology in 2004, and in 2008 invented start-stop EFB technology. Now manufacturing start-stop batteries for many popular vehicles, Exide believes that factors need to get ready for the future, because start-stop AGM and EFB will make up the majority of aftermarket battery sales in the UK by 2022.

“The growth in start-stop is an exciting opportunity for our customers,” said Craig Everett, UK Marketing Manager for Exide. “Factors have an opportunity to win new customers, establish their expertise in a fast-growing market, and guide their workshops towards providing best-in-class service for start-stop vehicles.”

The emergence of start-stop

Legislators around the world face the challenge of vastly reducing carbon emissions, in order to keep the increase in average global temperature below 2°C in the long term. As transport produces around 15% of global greenhouse gas emissions, legislators imposed tough targets on carmakers to improve the efficiency of their vehicles. The EU was among the first to legislate, requiring carmakers to reduce emissions by 18% by 2015 and 40% by 2021, compared with the fleet average in 2007. Carmakers exceeding these limits for their fleet are charged a penalty proportionate to how widely the target is missed.

These ambitious targets meant carmakers had to design more fuel-efficient cars, with fuel-saving features such as start- stop, which intelligently shuts down and starts the engine when it would otherwise be idling. This frequent starting and stopping puts a huge strain on the battery, which is why specially designed start-stop batteries are required. These have far better electrical performance than a standard lead-acid battery, with exceptional power, cycle life and charge acceptance.

Four times greater cycling performance

Exide’s start-stop AGM battery was first developed in Exide’s original equipment business. With each new generation it has seen major advances, and is among the most advanced automotive batteries on the  market. It offers more power, four times greater cycling performance than a standard lead-acid battery and the exceptional charge performance required for the constant starting and stopping of the powertrain. The latest generation of start-stop AGM, which has been adopted by major carmakers, is ideal for larger vehicles and those with power-hungry electrical equipment.

Exide’s start-stop EFB has also been adopted as original equipment by leading carmakers, and is perfect for small and mid- sized start-stop cars. The battery also provides improved charge acceptance and cycling performance. It offers excellent safety features and is ideal for urban driving and intensive use.

As more start-stop cars enter the aftermarket, resellers are being advised to ensure the correct battery is fitted. Start- stop cars are designed for start-stop batteries. Conventional batteries are incompatible with the start-stop system, and fitting them will void the warranty. The best way to avoid this mistake is to carefully check fitment information, ensuring that the manufacturer considers the battery a good match for the vehicle.

In the case of incorrect fitment, neither the battery manufacturer nor the factor has liability to provide a replacement. The motorist is likely to hold the workshop responsible, especially given the rising knowledge of this issue in the marketplace. Workshops are being advised to ensure that staff are trained on incompatibility issues and the dangers of incorrect fitment. This could be a major problem for those who fail to take adequate precautions, especially given the rapid rise in start-stop vehicles entering the aftermarket.

The opportunities for factors

Reputation is more important than ever in the aftermarket. It can take decades to build relationships with your customers, but all it takes is one bad experience and they may choose to take their business elsewhere. Exide is ensuring that all its factors are fully briefed on start-stop issues, helping them establish their expertise in the aftermarket’s fastest- growing segment.

The company is giving customers marketing support to promote their expertise in start-stop, and offering practical guidance to help them deliver for their customers.

There is an excellent opportunity for factors to give workshops the right level of guidance in navigating the challenges of start-stop. This means giving them correct fitment information, warning them about the dangers of incorrect fitment, and offering a range of quality batteries to choose from. Providing a quality service will lead to happy motorists – and more repeat business for both the factor and the workshop.

“More and more start-stop batteries are entering the aftermarket, and we want to help our customers capture as much of that demand as possible,” said Craig. “Customers benefit from our experience working with carmakers, our best-in-class battery range, and our commitment to providing market-leading tools and support.”

Key facts

  • Start-stop will see compound annual growth of 20% globally between now and 2022
  • EU legislation means that car makers must reduce emissions by 40% by 2021 compared to the 2007 fleet average
  • Start-stop batteries will make up the majority of aftermarket sales by 2022
  • Transport is responsible for around 15% of the world’s greenhouse emissions
  • APAC region has 40% market share of start-stop

For more information on Exide’s battery technology, click here.

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