- Continental has so far invested €5.8 million in the production of Start-Stop units in Hungary
- The supply voltage stabilizer component has been produced in Hungary since 2010, involving 188 employees
- The one millionth unit will be exhibited at the Museum of Engineering and Transportation
Budapest (Hungary), May 28, 2014. – The Budapest plant of the international automotive supplier Continental has produced more than one million Start-Stop system components. Continental Automotive Hungary celebrated the production of the one millionth component together with representatives of the government, the automotive industry, and corporate management. The milestone component is to be exhibited at the Museum of Engineering and Transportation. These components have been manufactured in Hungary since the autumn of 2010, with 188 employees currently involved in the manufacturing process. Continental has so far invested €5.8 million in the production of supply voltage stabilizer unit components in Hungary.
The Start-Stop system is an automated system that shuts down and restarts the engine. The advantage is that it can automatically stop the engine at red lights, or even when approaching the lights. This results in 5-10% fuel savings, and lower emissions. The supply voltage stabilizer component (VSS - Voltage Stabilization System), a part of the Start-Stop system, is produced in Budapest. Another unique feature of the system is that it not only shuts down the engine when the car has come to a complete stop, but also when it is rolling at a low speed, increasing the shutdown time and saving fuel. Another point of interest is that the Start-Stop function does not rely on the regular starter motor alone, as there is an additional belt-driven starter-generator built into the car for the recuperation of electrical energy during braking phases and specially designed for a smooth and fast restart.
The VSS system produced in Budapest consists of two main parts, a control unit (PEU - Power Electric Unit), and the power storage unit (ESS - Energy Storage System). The latter is actually a small battery, with two double-layer capacitors linked in series. The excess energy required for restarting the engine is stored in this unit. The PEU controls the charging of the ESS, and the utilization of the accumulated energy. Unlike in conventional cars, where the negative terminal of the battery is connected directly to the metal body of the car, in cars equipped with this Start-Stop system, the chassis connection is made by the control unit, ensuring that the power storage unit is chargeable and that the car can retrieve the energy from there.
Continental Automotive Hungary is implementing an investment and job creation program between 2009 and 2014 worth HUF 15 billion. “Electronics and the automotive industry are always on the move, and because of this constant renewal, our own development process must be ongoing. We recently completed our production-technology investments for steering wheel and hybrid power solutions, and the next step will involve the expansion of brake systems with two new production lines,” said Dr. Róbert Keszte, Managing Director of Continental Automotive Hungary. As he went on to say, the production of the one millionth Start-Stop component is also the result of constant development and investment activities, and clearly demonstrates Continental’s commitment to Hungary and the region.
“As one of the world’s leading automotive industry suppliers, Continental is a major player when it comes to the latest developments in road transport. The Corporation is involved in state-of-the-art initiatives such as automated driving systems and smart car services. The production of the one millionth Start-Stop system component represents a true milestone for the whole of Continental,” added Dániel Rábai, Continental AG Country Coordinator in Hungary.