eClutch Saves Fuel and Makes Driving Easier
OREANDA-NEWS. Traffic congestion is bad enough at the best of times, but doubly irksome without automatic transmission. The reason is the constant switching between clutch, gas pedal, and brake. In stop-and-go traffic, the Bosch eClutch allows drivers using manual transmission to use first gear without using the clutch. They can simply use the brake and gas pedal, just like in an automatic transmission, without accidentally stalling the engine. This electronically controlled clutch closes the gap between automatic and manual transmission. In addition, the eClutch makes the coasting function possible, which saves fuel. Independently of the driver, the clutch decouples the engine from the transmission if the driver is no longer accelerating. The engine then stops. The result is a real fuel saving of 10 percent on average.
In terms of price, the eClutch costs significantly less than a conventional automatic transmission, and is thus an attractive alternative in the compact car segment, where price competition is tough. Unlike a full-blown automatic transmission, the e-Clutch automates the clutch only, not the transmission. The clutch pedal transmits an electric signal to an actuator, which decouples the clutch.
The principle behind the start-stop coasting function is simple. The Bosch system detects the driver’s easing of pressure on the gas pedal, decouples the engine from the transmission, and thus prevents the engine from consuming fuel. Drivers can already manually simulate this effect by disengaging the clutch on a downhill stretch. In the future, the system will automatically assume this function, while stopping the engine at the same time. This is technically sophisticated, but worthwhile, leading to a 10 percent reduction in fuel consumption.