Stop-Start Technology Found On Half Of Vehicles By 2021

Stop-start is a feature found on more vehicles as the years go by. More than half of light-duty vehicles worldwide will be so equipped, according to a Navigant study.

Stop-start vehicles incorporate a simple yet valuable feature: they eliminate idling by shutting off the engine when the vehicle is stationary, and then restart it automatically when the driver releases the brake.

Stop-start technology, which offers some of the fuel economy benefits of hybrid vehicles at a fraction of the cost premium, is being incorporated into new light-duty vehicle models at a rapid pace.

By 2021, according to a report from Navigant Research, more than half of all light-duty vehicles sold worldwide will incorporate stop-start capability.

“The newest stop-start systems coming to market incorporate some drive assistance, which classifies the models that use them as true micro hybrid vehicles,” says David Alexander, senior research analyst with Navigant Research. “Micro hybrid technology enables large vehicles to be designed to run leaner without sacrificing drivability, and small vehicles to be set up for limited electric-only operation.”

Navigant said the primary driver for manufacturers to incorporate stop-start technology is tightening restrictions on fuel consumption and emissions in most countries, according to the report. Vehicle manufacturers must achieve specific average fuel economy targets in order to avoid financial penalties in many countries. Automakers are also responding to consumers who increasingly want better fuel efficiency in the vehicles they buy.

The report titled “Stop-Start Vehicles” analyzes the opportunities and challenges present in the global market for light duty start-stop vehicles (SSVs), also known as micro hybrids, idle stop vehicles, and a variety of other names branded by automakers. The report examines stop-start component systems, including the technologies used for energy storage.

According to the report, growth in light duty SSV sales during the next decade will be predominately in the three major market regions of North America, Western Europe, and Asia Pacific, primarily because these regions are the most aggressive in their implementation of fuel economy and emissions regulations. Stop-start systems will help to roll out other electrification features that will combine with engine downsizing and other enhancements to increase efficiency without large-scale adoption of full hybrid or plug-in electric capability.

Navigant Researchers forecasts that total global sales for light duty SSVs will exceed 55 million by 2022, accounting for 54.3 percent of total vehicle sales.