Automotive Stop - Start On the Way

This is one of those simple fixes that are possible today because of electronic control systems finely tuned to our vehicles.  It is still not a hybrid, but it certainly allows for a serious saving in stop and go situations and works because the decision is out of the driver’s control.

We all know that the saving is there but to individually take advantage of it is actually hard work.  Without using automation, it could not happen.

For the manufacturers, this is the low hanging fruit in terms of moving toward more efficient power plants.  Most vehicles do most of their driving inside town.  Shaving a full fifteen percent is huge and the actual cost will negligible.

'Stop-start' system coming to U.S. cars

by Staff Writers
Detroit (UPI) Sep 18, 2010 

A relatively simple and inexpensive fuel-saving technology from Europe will soon be introduced on vehicles in North America, engineers say.

So-called start-stop systems that turn off a car when it is idling and reignite the engine when the driver releases the brake will be coming to the United States and Canada in the next five years, The Detroit News reported.

The technology is widespread in Europe and will be embraced in North America as a tool to meet increasingly stringent fuel-economy and emissions requirements, auto experts say.

"Engineers kill for one-tenth of a mile per gallon," Joe Phillippi of AutoTrends Consulting Inc. said. "In city driving, it would make a huge impact."

Estimates vary, but the consensus is shutting off the engine at a stop can improve fuel economy as much as 15 percent.

Consumer acceptance could be a challenge.

"It is a strange sensation because the engine suddenly turns off," said analyst Stephanie Brinley of EMC Strategic Communications in Troy, Mich. "It is quick and seamless, but you can tell it happens."
Half of the new cars in Europe will have start-stop technology in 2012, and North America will reach that figure in 2016, said Frank Frister, product manager with Bosch North America, one of the companies developing stop-start systems.

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