Sunday, January 23, 2011

Getting Cars Out of Idle

Stop-Start Technology Saves Gas, Emissions

Idling gets you nowhere
There are still a lot of ways to improve auto efficiency in the United States. Better fuel efficiency (CAFE) standards for cars, and also for trucks. Communicating what cars do better is also a good step. Electric cars are better still, and the fears about them unfounded. There's also a technology used in Europe for years that cuts down the wasted gas (and emissions) of pointless idling. It's similar to what's used in golf carts, but it works for regular gasoline-powered cars too. It's called stop-start, or microhybrid technology:
The microhybrid system centers on start-stop technology, which turns off engines at traffic stops. This has long been a feature of full-hybrid cars like the Toyota Prius, but as a relatively inexpensive addition to purely internal combustion cars, it can improve fuel economy by 10 percent or more.

Ford is using high-performance batteries developed by Johnson Controls. “Stop-start technology is well-established on our cars in Europe, and so it’s only natural we would bring it to our home market in the U.S. for the fuel economy our customers expect,” said a Ford spokeswoman, Jennifer Moore.

Ford’s Auto Start-Stop technology combines the upgraded battery with a modified starter motor and a voltage-quality module to ensure that accessories function normally with the engine off.
When our leaders call for an "all-of-the-above" approach, they should embrace more than just generation technologies. Efficiency technologies like this must be adopted broadly as well.

No comments:

Post a Comment