Monday, December 27, 2010
Ford expanding stop-start technology to non-hybrid models
Given the multifaceted approach to making more efficient vehicles favored by Ford, an automaker that employs everything from EcoBoost to hybrids, pure electrics to less thirsty gas models - it's not that surprising to learn that the company is announcing that it is expanding use of stop-start technology to more U.S. vehicles in 2012. Stop-start, you'll recall, is a technology that allows an engine to shut off automatically at stop lights to avoid wasting fuel while idling. As far as the green race goes, stop-start is a no-brainer: it's not all that expensive to implement - especially compared to technologies like hybrid powertrains - and according to Ford, it can result in a jump in fuel economy of up to 10 percent.
Ford is following BMW, Fiat and other automakers in bringing stop-start to its vehicles, but along with Porsche, it is taking a leadership role with the technology here in the U.S. for non-hybrid vehicles. Ford notes that it has sold over 170,000 hybrids with stop-start in North America in the last six years, and 2012 will mark the first time it will be found on Ford's "conventional cars, crossovers and SUVs in North America." European Ford drivers are familiar with the technology, and Ford says stop-start "eventually will be offered in all of Ford's global markets." Thus far, however, the Blue Oval isn't saying which non-hybrid models will be the first to receive the technology.
Stop-start technology has become an easy and effective way for automakers to register substantial economy gains in European models, but don't expect official mile per gallon figures to budge much on America's EPA-mandated test cycle. As of yet, the U.S. government's testing methodology simply doesn't reflect the benefits of stop-start, so while the effects of the technology may be self-evident in real world driving, they won't necessarily be reflected on a vehicle's window sticker in dealer showrooms. In other words, Ford is likely to have some consumer educating to do.
To school yourself a bit further on the Blue Oval's stop-start initiative, check out their official press release after the jump.
[Source: Ford]Permalink | Email this | Comments