DETROIT (April 4)—A belt-driven reversible starter/alternator designed by French automotive supplier Valeo S.A. for hybrid vehicles has been recognized as a top supplier innovation for 2006 by the judges of the Automotive News PACE Awards.
Valeo's StARS belt-driven starter/alternator allows ordinary automotive voltages to start and stop a gasoline or diesel engine by using the serpentine belt, the award committee said, resulting in a fuel savings of 6 to 15 percent over conventional systems. StARS also cuts noise and tailpipe emissions, since the engine shuts off when the vehicle stops; PSA estimates vehicles are at a standstill nearly 35 percent of driving time in built-up areas.
The system was launched in 2004 by PSA/Peugeot-Citroen S.A. on the Citroen C3 Sensodrive.
This is the 12th year the PACE Awards have been presented. The award is sponsored by "Automotive News"—a Crain Communications Inc. publication—Microsoft, SAP and Transportation Research Center Inc. The 2006 awards were presented March 3 in Detroit.