Forget hybrid cars, electric cars and hydrogen cars: the most successful environmental breakthrough for the vehicles we drive today is almost certainly the stop-start system – and it’s a phenomenon that shows no signs of slowing down.
According to Pike Research, more than 41million vehicles will boast stop-start systems by 2020: a near ten-fold increase compared to 2012.
Its research report, entitled Stop-Start Vehicles, reveals that the technology is currently most popular in Europe but is set for rapid expansion across the North America and Asia Pacific regions.
Generally, a stop-start system is activated when a vehicle comes to a complete stop; although enhanced systems can even shut off engines during coasting conditions. However, a number of provisions must be made for this option to be safe: including the inclusion of power steering and brakes that are electrically operated and a higher electrical energy storage.
Whereas hybrid and electric cars are likely to remain in low single digit percentages of the overall market, primarily due to cost, stop-start is able to offer tangible benefits for a much smaller premium and this will mean it enjoys significant sales interest. It is also expected to become a feature of clean diesel engines and will be incorporated into many models as part of a fuel efficient engine package.
According to Pike, Europe will remain the major market until 2018, at which point Asia Pacific will start to take over. North America’s volume, meanwhile, will catch up with Europe around the end of the decade.
Pike believes that there has been a slow launch for the technology in North America primarily because the US Environmental Protection Agency’s test drive cycle does not include much stationary time: and so the benefits of stop-start systems do not show so clearly in comparison figures.
Paul is a freelance writer with a background in everything from motoring to finance; and holidays to women's undergarments he just writes about them, honestly! He has now sadly crept into his early 30s and seems to have forgotten everything learned at school Still, he's a green car fanatic and isn't that what counts?
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