Gas-saving stop-start systems – that turn off the engine when the vehicle isn’t moving and restart it when the brake pedal is released – will be standard on more cars and trucks than ever before – whether drivers like it or not, reports The Detroit News.
Automotive industry analysts say the technology improves fuel economy an average of 3.5 percent – and as much as 10-15 percent in cities and heavy stop-and-go traffic. It’s been popular in Europe for years, partly because of customer demand driven by high gas prices. But it hasn’t been a hit in the United States. Detractors say the feature is annoying and makes them think their cars have stalled when the engine shuts off at a light or stop sign.
Southfield-based forecasting firm IHS Automotive says 7 percent of vehicles sold today in the U.S. have stop-start, compared to 60-70 percent in Europe; but strict federal fuel economy mandates have forced automakers to add stop-start to more vehicles, says Devin Lindsay, senior analyst of North American powertrain forecasting for IHS. He predicts 57 percent of vehicles sold here in 2020 will have the gas-saving technology.