Continental claims that an increasing number of automakers now see the Continental Temic ISAD system as the key to lower fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

ISAD stands for Integrated Starter Alternator Damper, and following the debut of this “mild hybrid” technology in a General Motors light truck in 2003, the system is to be fitted to another US-built vehicle later this year. In addition, development engineers at Continental Temic are readying the system for volume production for two European carmakers.

Continental says that ISAD is the ideal technology to help automakers cut emissions and fuel consumption en route to meeting the voluntary commitment by The European Automobile Manufacturers Association (Acea) to reduce average new-car-fleet emissions to 140 grams CO2/km by 2008. ISAD, Continental adds, is also a key technology in the drive to meet new, stringent corporate average fuel economy legislation to be introduced in the USA.

During braking, ISAD generates electrical energy with a matchless efficiency of around 80 percent and stores it, ready to boost the performance of the internal combustion engine during acceleration. In simple terms, every time you brake, you reduce your fuel bill. The start/stop function also helps cut fuel consumption. As soon as the vehicle comes to a halt, the engine is automatically switched off. Then, the moment the driver depresses the gas pedal, ISAD restarts the engine almost silently, bringing it to full idling speed in just 0.2 seconds — about ten times faster than a conventional starter motor. When the system is fitted to otherwise unmodified vehicles, these functions result in fuel savings of over 10 percent. When all of the relevant vehicle systems are modified accordingly, savings of up to 15 percent are possible, Continental says.

The company also says that ISAD makes driving more enjoyable by providing up to 200 Newton- meters of additional torque for the engine.