Ioxus Bluetooth app checks, maintains battery health

Neglect a battery and you may end up stuck and paying for a jumpstart.

To help avoid the no-start battery blues, Ioxus offers uSTART ultracapacitor and its new uSTART Bluetooth app which allows for remote battery diagnostics and maintenance. The app was unveiled Sunday at the 2019 Technology & Maintenance Council (TMC) convention in Atlanta, Ga.

“The uSTART Bluetooth app brings wireless capabilities to fleet technicians and drivers,” said Jeff Colton, senior vice president of global sales for Ioxus. “The connection saves time and improves safety during roadside events by providing the ability to remotely check battery voltage and uSTART status or use the system’s jumpstart capability without needing to access the battery box. The Bluetooth app for uSTART helps complete inspections, maintenance and service quickly and more efficiently.”

Functions enabled using the new Bluetooth interface for uSTART include:

  • Visibility for drivers into battery voltage and uSTART status to determine if the vehicle needs to be started to charge the batteries
  • Remote checking of uSTART and battery health without connecting diagnostic tools, saving technician time
  • Enabling technicians to place uSTART in Run or Maintenance mode without accessing controls on the device
  • Jumpstart capabilities for drivers and roadside service technicians without the need to push a button on uSTART or connect jumper cables or chargers
An Ioxus engineer installed this uSTART battery (left) at TMC in less than four minutes.An Ioxus engineer installed this uSTART battery (left) at TMC in less than four minutes.

The long-lasting uSTART ultracapacitor is used in combination with a traditional lead acid battery to consistently provide the right amount current to voltage-sensitive components.

“It eliminates one or two of the lead-acid batteries for the life of the truck,” Colton said. “If you take one battery out and replace it with a uSTART you never have to replace that battery again. And in some applications, you can take two batteries out and replace it with a uSTART and you never have to replace those two batteries again.”

Expect double the life from batteries paired up with a uSTART module, Colton said. That’s largely because the ultracapacitor starts up the truck in place of the conventional battery. The module helps to extend the life of other components.

“It’s providing the starter with the proper voltage and the proper current so you don’t have any low voltage starts which means an excellent start every time,” Colton said. “No low voltage starts means you get the proper voltage. You’re extending the life of the starter. You’re extending the life of the alternator, the relay, the ECM. The alternator doesn’t have to work to charge the low voltage battery.”

uSTART, which is roughly half the weight of a lead acid battery, has a 15-year lifespan and operates from -40 to 185 degrees Fahrenheit. Ioxus also promotes the environmental benefits of reducing lead-acid batteries with uSTART.

“If just 10 percent of trucks that could use uSTART did use uSTART, from Class 8 day cab, to local delivery, to yard-dogs and airport cargo tractors, millions of pounds of toxic lead and sulfuric acid would be eliminated from the environment,” Colton said.

Installed by an OEM or retrofitted as a drop-in Group 31 battery replacement, uSTART systems are available for Class 6 package and other delivery trucks and for Class 7 and 8 day cab trucks and tractors with up to 12-liter engines. Colton said uSTART pays for itself in about 17 months.