At a stop light. In the drive-thru. In your driveway. Stop-start technology turns off the engine whenever the vehicle is on and the driver's foot is on the brake. The merits of the technology are hard to ignore; fuel economy savings as high as 15 percent. But while stop-start has been widely adopted in Europe, here in the U.S. the only non-hybrid vehicle to feature the tech is the Porsche Panamera.
Part of the reason stop-start hasn't taken off in the States is that many Environmental Protection Agency tests don't take stops into account during testing. And without gaining precious miles per gallon in EPA fuel economy testing, many customers will have a problem footing the bill for the the technology's otherwise reasonable $500 price tag. But as testing methods change and fuel economy standards become more stringent, stop-start is coming closer to making its way into your next vehicle. General Motors, Ford and Chrysler are among the automakers looking to incorporate the technology in U.S.-market vehicles by or before 2014.
Stop-start is relatively seamless in operation and imperceptible to most users. When you begin deceleration or come to a stop, the engine cuts off. When you lift your foot off the pedal, the engine fires back up. The upside is considerably improved fuel economy in city driving. There isn't much downside other than the change we Americans tend not to embrace. We're pretty sure we're ready for start-stop. Are you? Take the poll below to let us know where you stand.
|Yes, absolutely||9657 (66.9%)|
|No, definitely not||3104 (21.5%)|
|Don't know||1677 (11.6%)|
[Source: The Detroit News]