Stop-Start Tech Could Reach 8 Million North American Cars by 2017 – Do You Want It?
Stop-start technology has been around for almost three decades, but the system is just now catching on with American consumers. In fact, start-stop is becoming so popular, it may be found in more than eight million cars in North America by 2017, AAA predicts, but would you want it in your car?
Stop-start technology saves gas by shutting off the engine when the car is stopped in traffic or at a stoplight. The system restarts the engine when the driver releases the brake, though some cars (including Mercedes-Benz models) will respond when the steering wheel is moved. So far, U.S. car buyers can find the technology on a few vehicles like the BMW 328i, Porsche Boxster, and even the Kia Rio. The Chevrolet Malibu Eco has stop-start tech, which we found to be seamless and smooth. The system is even making its way into the supercar world, with Lamborghini planning to include cylinder deactivation and stop-start technology for the 2013 Aventador.
AAA calculates that start-stop can save $167 in annual fuel costs a year if gas costs $3.75 per gallon and the driver drove 12,000 miles at 20 mpg. Another benefit, of course, is the reduction in emissions. Forty percent of the cars in Europe and Japan are said to already have the technology, which can improve fuel economy by up to 12 percent.
With stop-start technology’s upfront cost, is it worth pursuing or should automakers focus on other fuel-saving technologies?