Micro hybrid. Start-stop. Whatever we call it, people like it. The micro hybrid system, currently available in cars like the Smart fortwo and through aftermarket suppliers like Ricardo, is preferred by three out of four drivers, the UK's Motorpoint car supermarket group found in a recent survey. This technology is cheap to implement (compared to full hybrid systems) and is available today, but isn't exactly widespread. Only Citroen, BMW and Mini offer it on non-hybrid vehicles. Motorpoint found that a start-stop system, which shuts down the engine when the car isn't moving and then quickly restarts it when the driver pushes the accelerator, would be a hit among drivers because it gets up to an eight percent fuel cost reduction boost in urban driving. The CO2 emissions are a side benefit in the public's mind. More details after the jump.



Press Release:

Motorists turned on by untapped stop-start engine technology savings

Three out of four drivers say they would buy a car that automatically cuts and restarts the engine in traffic in a massive thumbs-up for technology that is already in production but suffers from restricted availability.

Fuel costs saving of up to 8% in urban driving is the top reason for the demand voiced in the latest survey of motorists by Motorpoint, the UK's leading car supermarket group. But the technology also offers a parallel reduction in CO2 emissions.

In practice, the technology – essentially a beefed up starter motor and enhanced engine electronics – stops the engine when the driver comes to a halt and takes the car out of gear. Pressing the clutch automatically restarts the car.

Today only Citroen, BMW and Mini are offering stop-start on non-hybrids but most manufacturers are expected to introduce stop-start, on both manuals and automatics, over the next few years - either across the range or on designated 'green' models.

Motorpoint operations director Paul Winfield said: "In these days of increasing fuel prices and demands for lower CO2 emissions, its surprising that this tried and tested technology isn't already more widespread.

"We always maintain a mix of stock that offers our customers what they tell us they want. This survey shows an overwhelming vote in favour of stop-start technology. We already stock new and nearly new Citroen, BMW and Mini models and we shall make sure, as more manufacturers make the technology available, that we stock those cars too."

[Source: Motorpoint]


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