Chrysler Plans Start-Stop System for Future Vehicles

BMW vehicles with start-stop functionality allow drivers to push a button to activate or de-activate the fuel-saving system. Chrysler is planning to introduce similar technology.

As the price of fuel indefinitely heads skyward, big automakers are approaching the need for greater fuel efficiency from several angles. Chrysler’s latest endeavor on this front is to begin offering “start-stop technology” on some of its not-too-distant future vehicles. This system is designed to shut off the engine when the vehicle is stopped and starts it back up when the brake pedal is released.

The expected result is improved fuel economy by about five percent. The feature does not offer the same degree of fuel savings or environmental impact as other technologies—such as full hybrids or some alternative fuels—but it is one more step toward producing greener automobiles. And given the relative low cost of start-stop technology, it could roll out more quickly and widely.

According to Frank Klegon, Chrysler executive vice president of product development, the system will cost several hundred dollars per vehicle and will be introduced “pretty soon.” Chrysler did not provide an exact timetable.

Similar start-stop technology is currently in use—or is planned to be employed—in mild hybrids from General Motors, as well as Smart, Mini-Cooper, and a wide range of BMW vehicles. The term start-stop—also referred to as idle-stop, auto-stop, and stop-start—usually applies to a vehicle that can shut off the engine at a stop, but cannot use stored electric energy for moving forward.

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  • PWL

    Now I must say that I am really super impressed. A button, or an automatic on/off control. Now that’s really innovative and for a few extra hundred dollars we all can do what turning our keys at a stop light allow us to do already. This should really save us a lot of petrol and help “green” the planet.

  • Dom

    Who actually manually turns off their engine at a stop light or drive through?? I’d say probably no one. It’s too inconvenient. But if the car does it for you, I doubt anyone will complain. So yes, add this cheap simple feature to most standard cars, and we raise the fuel economy bar across the board. Maybe not by much, but every little bit helps.

  • Old Man Crowder

    GM, Ford, Honda and Toyota already have this incorporated into their hybrid (or so-called hybrid) vehicles. This is not innovation for Chrysler — they’re just playing catch-up.

    And why give the option of turning the system off? It should be a standard feature on all vehicles, and without the manual override.

  • Jeep Driver

    I don’t want to buy a new vehicle. Provide this for older cars too.

  • don

    Auto Start/Stop is a great addition feature to add to a full hybrid but on its own it is more likely going to cause more problems than it is worth. I live in a hot/humid area and if the AC stops which it will then I want to be able to disable it.

  • hondaDriver

    I’m not sure how Chrysler works out. But system in Honda Insight(already removed from line up) does not turn off the engine if AC is on. So I would imagine the guys in Chrysler would do the same thing.

  • kea

    I remember in Frankfurt about 20 years ago being at a traffic light that had an additional light that told you when to turn your engine on and off for long light cycles.
    I’ll begin to believe American’s are taking global warming seriously when they turn their engines (and AC) off when (a) waiting to pick their kids up at school (b) shopping (c) chatting to neighbours on the street.

  • qqRockyBeans

    It needs to give you the option to turn the auto-stop off so that it can pass Georgia’s emissions test–their test is even tougher than California’s!!

  • N. Hawkins

    Isnt restarting your car after shutting it off at a light just allowing the catylitic converter just enough time to cool to a point where emissions would possibly be higher than leaving the engine running?

    I really doubt shutting off/turning on an engine has much effect at all on “greenhouse gas” emissions.

    Just try not breathing at a stoplight, or breathe every other breath. That will cut CO2 emissions drastically, and no one has to buy anything for their cars!

    N. Hawkins, Dover, Ohio