• Dec 27, 2010
Given the multifaceted approach to making more efficient vehicles favored by Ford, an automaker that employs everything from EcoBoost to hybrids, pure electrics to less thirsty gas models – it's not that surprising to learn that the company is announcing that it is expanding use of stop-start technology to more U.S. vehicles in 2012. Stop-start, you'll recall, is a technology that allows an engine to shut off automatically at stop lights to avoid wasting fuel while idling. As far as the green race goes, stop-start is a no-brainer: it's not all that expensive to implement – especially compared to technologies like hybrid powertrains – and according to Ford, it can result in a jump in fuel economy of up to 10 percent.

Ford is following BMW, Fiat and other automakers in bringing stop-start to its vehicles, but along with Porsche, it is taking a leadership role with the technology here in the U.S. for non-hybrid vehicles. Ford notes that it has sold over 170,000 hybrids with stop-start in North America in the last six years, and 2012 will mark the first time it will be found on Ford's "conventional cars, crossovers and SUVs in North America." European Ford drivers are familiar with the technology, and Ford says stop-start "eventually will be offered in all of Ford's global markets." Thus far, however, the Blue Oval isn't saying which non-hybrid models will be the first to receive the technology.

Stop-start technology has become an easy and effective way for automakers to register substantial economy gains in European models, but don't expect official mile per gallon figures to budge much on America's EPA-mandated test cycle. As of yet, the U.S. government's testing methodology simply doesn't reflect the benefits of stop-start, so while the effects of the technology may be self-evident in real world driving, they won't necessarily be reflected on a vehicle's window sticker in dealer showrooms. In other words, Ford is likely to have some consumer educating to do.

To school yourself a bit further on the Blue Oval's stop-start initiative, check out their official press release after the jump.

[Source: Ford]

PRESS RELEASE

FORD TO EXPAND FUEL-SAVING START-STOP TECHNOLOGY FROM HYBRIDS TO CONVENTIONAL CARS, CROSSOVERS

• Ford's Auto Start-Stop system will be available for North American cars and utilities in 2012
• Ford's Auto Start-Stop system boosts city fuel economy by as much as 10 percent
• Since 2004, Ford has sold more than 170,000 hybrid vehicles in North America with start-stop and is the leading domestic producer of the systems
• Ford has at least 244 worldwide patents on its Auto Start-Stop technology, proven on hybrids and soon to be added on cars, crossovers and SUVs in North America

DEARBORN, Mich., Dec. 27, 2010 – Ford's popular fuel-saving technology that automatically shuts off the engine when the vehicle comes to a stop – a feature found today on the Ford Fusion Hybrid and Ford Escape Hybrid and some Ford cars in Europe – will soon be added to conventional cars, crossovers and SUVs in North America.

Ford's patented new Auto Start-Stop system for gasoline engines can deliver fuel economy savings of as much as 10 percent. It can also reduce tailpipe emissions to zero while the vehicle is stationary or waiting at a stop light. Ford has more than 244 patents for its Auto Start-Stop technology and will showcase the feature on a concept in January at the North American International Auto Show.

Auto Start-Stop is the latest example of Ford moving aggressively to bring affordable advanced fuel-saving technologies to all customers. Ford has already introduced electric power steering, dual-clutch PowerShift six-speed transmissions and other fuel-saving features as part of the company's commitment to lead or be among the leaders in fuel economy in every segment.

Ford's global Auto Start-Stop technology is smooth, quiet and seamless, and it requires no changes to the driver's behavior. In city driving when the vehicle is stopped, the engine restarts the instant the driver's foot leaves the brake pedal. When the engine is off, all of the vehicle's accessories function normally.

"For the driver, Ford Auto Start-Stop provides extra fuel efficiency without inconvenience, as it works completely automatically," said Barb Samardzich, Ford vice president of Powertrain engineering. "And, just like in our hybrid vehicles, the heater, and air conditioner work as normal so drivers will not sacrifice comfort."

The global rollout of Auto Start-Stop is under way in Europe. The system, designed to work on both gasoline and diesel engines, is standard on the ECOnetic models of the Ford Ka and Mondeo, and is launching now on Focus, C-MAX and Grand C-MAX. The fuel-saving system debuts in North America in 2012 and eventually will be offered in all of Ford's global markets.

Many North American Ford customers are already familiar with Auto Start-Stop. A similar system has been installed on more than 170,000 gasoline-electric hybrid vehicles Ford has sold since 2004. Ford is the leading domestic producer of start-stop systems. In 2011, the version of Ford's Auto Start-Stop designed for gasoline-electric powertrains will be on the Escape Hybrid and Fusion Hybrid as well as the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid.

"Many of the same Ford engineers who designed the Auto Start Stop system used on Ford and Lincoln hybrids are developing the Auto Start-Stop system for non-hybrid vehicles that will be sold around the globe," said Samardzich.

When Auto Start-Stop debuts in North America, it will be available on gasoline-powered cars and utilities with either a manual or automatic transmission as well as vehicles that use Ford's patented dual-clutch six-speed automatic transmission.

Ford's aggressive move to direct-injection EcoBoost™ engines is one of the technologies that enable the Auto Start-Stop system to work seamlessly, Samardzich said. The direct-injection system, which sprays the exact amount of fuel directly into the precise location in the combustion chamber, helps enable extremely fast engine starts, Samardzich explained. The system debuts on four-cylinder engines and will gradually be expanded to vehicles with V6 and V8 engines.

Auto Start-Stop does not require any additional vehicle maintenance. The system uses an enhanced 12-volt automobile battery and upgraded starter motor, said Birgit Sorgenfrei, program manager for Auto Start-Stop.

"Our hybrid owners tell us that start-stop is one of their favorite features," said Sorgenfrei. "When the engine is off, they know they are saving fuel and reducing emissions."

The system includes a light on the dash that alerts the driver when the engine is off and a special tachometer that moves the needle to a green zone when the engine is not running.

Ford engineers are making customer comfort a priority in engineering the system. A special electric pump keeps engine coolant circulating through the heater so drivers will stay warm in cold weather, Sorgenfrei said.

"Ford's start-stop technology conserves fuel and eliminates emissions at every vehicle idle opportunity once customer comfort and convenience are assured – this is good for the environment," Sorgenfrei said.

Auto Start-Stop is just the latest in a long list of fuel-saving technologies Ford has brought to market in recent years.

Ford's industry-leading suite of fuel-saving technologies include:

• EcoBoost engines, which combine turbocharging, direct injection and twin independent variable camshaft timing or Ti-VCT, with downsizing to deliver outstanding fuel economy without sacrificing performance
• Improved and highly fuel-efficient TDCi turbo-diesel engines in European models with low emissions and high levels of refinement
• Electric power steering, which eliminates the engine-driven hydraulic pump, lines and fluid
• Six-speed transmissions, which enable engines to run more efficiently by always selecting the best gear for fuel economy
• PowerShift dual-clutch automatic transmission, which efficiently sends the engine's power through the transmission without relying on a torque converter or hydraulic pumps

In 2011, Ford will be the only manufacturer in North America to offer four vehicles that get 40 mpg or more. Those vehicles, the Ford Fiesta, Ford Focus, Ford Fusion Hybrid and Lincoln MKZ Hybrid, are part of a dozen vehicles leading their sales segments in fuel economy, a record no other manufacturer can match.

"Ford Auto Start-Stop works so fast and so seamlessly, most drivers won't even notice it is there, though they will notice the benefits in their lower fuel bills" Samardzich said.

# # #

About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 176,000 employees and about 80 plants worldwide, the company's automotive brands include Ford, Lincoln, Mercury and, until its sale, Volvo. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford's products, please visit www.ford.com


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  • 26 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      Here's an Idea!!! Why don't we fix the traffic problems instead of forcing manufacturers engineer this junk( epa ,cafe). Start stop technology will be another social reform failure like automatic seat-belts.

      *Fact a vehicle produces its highest level of emissions upon start up

      **God forbid I live in Alaska and the first traffic light is a block away from my morning commute

      ***The last time I checked the only thing keeping oil on cylinder walls was a crosshatch and I've never heard of anti-gravity oil.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Holy logical leaps, Donavancaver!

        Idling motor = zero emissions = WTF are you talking about??

        Oil in the crosshatches, really? A motor turned off 30 seconds ago is not dry any more than it's cold.

        Saving me 5 or 10% on my fuel bill is nothing but win as far as I can see...
        • 4 Years Ago
        "Start stop technology will be another social reform failure like automatic seat-belts."

        Stop start is a social reform !!? Man, the brainless, blabbering far-right never ceases to amaze me; you guys constantly come up with new absurdities.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Why would you want to stop & restart and engine that's already reached closed loop operation? Let me clarify my stance. The best time for an engine to operate given it's stoichiometric value (producing little or no emissions at all) is at idle when the vehicle is not in motion at all. If you have a vehicle producing no emissions at idle why would you want to turn if off just to start it again? There is no need to "introduce another variable into the short term fuel trim" when the engine is not producing any emissions!!!!

        The reason the oil and crosshatch come into play is that oil retention on the sidewalls has a large role (epically on high mileage engines) in compression numbers. By turning off the engine at a stop all I'm doing is again "introducing another variable into the short tern fuel trim" Come on guys ever wonder why they have a dry and wet compression test? This might not have a effect at a stop sign but LA traffic or the Amtrak train that I see every other morning it will. I just can't see how this will lower emission's in a Yaris with a AFR sensor. But on the other hand I do believe it will increase fuel economy.

        But to hell with what I say. Let's put a gas analyzer to a tailpipe and add up the PPM over a given time and see who's right.
        • 4 Years Ago
        "*Fact a vehicle produces its highest level of emissions upon start up"

        Yeah, and part of those emissions are the fuel it takes to heat the engine up to operating temperatures so it can work at maximum efficiency.

        I somehow doubt that stopping for a moment at a stoplight is somehow going to cool the engine back down to room temperature.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Stop-start sucks in automatics.

      I'm not interested in a 1/3rd (or more) second delay pulling away from a light.

      Besides, you lose A/C, seat heat (most of it) and all kinds of other functions when the engine stops. You even lose some of the regular heat (the coolant isn't being heated when the engine isn't running).

      Mild hybrid is better, it at least fixes some of these. The real win is full hybrid, and Ford says those customers love stop-start. But of course they do, it's almost all upside and no downside for them.
        • 4 Years Ago
        "When the engine is off, all of the vehicle's accessories function normally."

        Reading is fundamental. Bigger battery + electric accessories pulled from hybrid models = no problem.

        Engineers know what they are doing.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Poo cycle = doesn't know how to read =(
        • 4 Years Ago
        Okay guys, you got me on the A/C. I'm anxious to see how Ford will keep the A/C working on the car without the price of the system being high.

        But the seat heaters will reduce in efficacy, with the alternator not working, the voltage in the car system will drop, and as the amount of heat produced by seat heaters (or rear defroster) is proportional to the square of the voltage, you'll lose over 20% of your seat heat when the engine turns off. And the main heater also doesn't work quite the same either because the engine isn't generating heat.

        And finally, Ford doesn't even brag about their restart time, but presuming it's class leading, it's still 1/3rd of a second and that's not something I want to put up with. It'd be different on a stick where the engine fires as you put in the clutch and move it into gear, but on an automatic it's just a flat-out delay.
        • 4 Years Ago
        You're worried about seat heaters..... be a man.
      • 4 Years Ago
      It sounds like the direct-injection based Smart Idle Stop System (SISS) start-stop system that Mazda developed years ago and is already employed in a bunch of Japanese models like the Biante.

      http://www.autoblog.com/2008/09/09/mazda-introduces-clever-start-stop-system-with-direct-injection/

      http://www.mazda.com/mazdaspirit/env/engine/siss.html

      Glad to hear that Ford-Mazda are still cooperating on technology.
        • 4 Years Ago
        No it doesn't sound like that system as Mazda's doesn't run the accessories when off. And no, Mazda's isn't restarted completely by combustion, Mazda says their system reduces the work the starter motor has to do, not eliminate the use of the starter motor when restarting.

        http://www.mazda.com/csr/environment/special_features/2009_02_01.html

        'The starter motor is operated to assist engine restarting, but using mainly combustion power for restarting requires less time and reduces power consumption.'
        • 4 Years Ago
        Actually it doesn't sound like it will be the same as the Mazda system at all. Mazda's system is restarted by combustion, not relying on the starter motor. We don't know about Ford's system yet, except it says the cars will have an enhanced battery and upgraded starter motor. A lesser system, from the sound of it.
      • 4 Years Ago
      In today's marketplace it's pretty inconceivable any manufacture will come out with start/stop that does not smoothly integrate with existing driveability requirements.

      There may be a little adaptation required, but that shouldn't be much of an issue. Don't most of these systems work with brake release? Might have to be on top of your game just a bit more, but nothing wrong with that.

      As for the heated seat issue. Good grief, it takes 3-5 minutes to feel the heat anyway, the loss of heat at a 1.5 minute stop light isn't going to be a big deal. Besides most of them have an auto-off feature. As soon as the heater throws out heat I shut mine off anyway.

      Wasn't going to note this, but the hybrid drivers, Prius particularly, tend to have a very "feel good" attitude about their choice of vehicles. Nothing wrong with that, but just remember each hybrid contains about 4 pound of Colbalt, 95% of which comes from Africa - the Afar region. Ore is stolen and carried on the backs of Africans hauling the stuff out at night in order to make a little money. Tens of thousands have been killed in this modern day genocide so the world can have hybrids to drive.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Amazing reading some of the naysayer comments here. As if the engineers at Ford or for any of the many vehicles in Europe currently using this system haven't done their homework.

      An engine does not return to a true cold state in the brief moments waiting at the traffic light. In fact, if you've ever shut off a car then turned the key back on to watch the temperate gauge, you'd know that the residual heat coupled with the lack of circulating coolant causes the engine temperature to rise for a short period — certainly a longer period than the interval of a traffic light.

      Likewise, emissions are highest immediately after startup on a cold engine (actually, the catalytic converter not yet being heated up to its peak cleaning effectiveness is a greater factor than the richer mixture needed for a freshly started engine). Briefly stopping a warmed-up engine does not revert the emissions to the "first start of the day" level upon restart.

      Seat heaters, even if shut off, do not return to ambient temperature so quickly either. Again, if you've ever accidentally switched one on during summer, you'd know it takes several minutes for a fully heated seat to cool down to normal.

      What's most surprising to me is that the EPA has not yet revised their city-driving test cycle to reflect the benefits of this relatively low-cost way to reduce fuel consumption and emissions. I applaud Ford for moving forward with this despite the absence of marketable gains in EPA rating.
        • 4 Years Ago
        /"temperature gauge" (oh, for an edit feature on AB)...
        • 4 Years Ago
        @ spin cycle: Good points. All I'm sayin' is that engine and catalyst heat don't drop to zero the moment the engine stops, as some people implied. The dropoff in coolant temperature (which is what heats the cabin), as well as the slight ramp-down of the electrically heated seats, is virtually negligible at the cycle time of even a long red light.

        As for cobalt mining and hybrid murder machines, I know you're responding to someone else's post with that, so I won't reply (nor say that I disagree).
        • 4 Years Ago
        Most of the vehicles using it in Europe use it with stick-shift vehicles. Specifically, there are a lot of good Diesels cars with manuals using it there.

        It doesn't work as well with automatics.

        The temperature rise you see in an engine when turning the car off isn't really a temperature rise, it's just a rise in the temperature at the point that the coolant temperature sensor is located. The engine, as a whole, is cooling from the moment you shut it down, this is easily shown using thermodynamic principles.

        I do agree it doesn't immediately go to cold, which is why Ford's system of continuing to circulate coolant will work at all. But it will be reduced in efficacy, same with seat heaters.

        95% of Cobalt comes from africa because it is so cheap. If there is more demand, there are other mines which will come on line to produce it, mines outside of Africa.

        As to the idea that this makes hybrids murder machines, you should look into how many people died for the oil that is burned in the cars we drive. And that hybrids use less of.
      • 4 Years Ago
      "As of yet, the U.S. government's testing methodology simply doesn't reflect the benefits of stop-start, so while the effects of the technology may be self-evident in real world driving, they won't necessarily be reflected on a vehicle's window sticker in dealer showrooms. In other words, Ford is likely to have some consumer educating to do."

      Or, y'know, the EPA could have added simulated stops at stop signs in the test the last time they made the big hullabaloo about changing it.

      They went to all the trouble to create tests to simulate different climates and temperatures, driving conditions, and all sorts of other things but they didn't think to add a regimen where they simply stop the car a few times in the city cycle. Y'know, something that everybody does several times a day.

      I find that astonishing.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Mazda says the same thing.

        Any yet here is the driving cycle used for the EPA "city" test.

        http://www.epa.gov/nvfel/methods/uddscol.txt

        As you can see, the car is stopped at several points, for periods of 10 seconds, 20 seconds, 30 seconds or more.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Everyone will have stop-start technology by 2012, so this isn't really noteworthy, if Ford had stop-start on their 2011 models then that would be worth mentioning. The A/C is going to have to be powered off of the battery. I tried turning the A/C Compressor off while stopping at traffic lights in Phoenix and had to turn the compressor back on before the light changed because it was uncomfortably hot. I see start-stop being more useful in mild climates.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Will the stop-start technology be available on the new ford c-max? In the press release on the c-max that ford just released a few days ago it mentioned nothing about stop-start.
      • 4 Years Ago
      About damn time the USA get stop-start tech in non-hybrid vehicles like Europe.
      • 4 Years Ago
      GM's had this technology on the market since 2006 with the Saturn Vue Greenline and the 2008 Malibu "mild" hybrid. GM also just released this technology in the upcoming 2012 Buick LaCrosse E-Assist. European automakers also have been using this technology. While I applaud Ford's ability to continuously improve their fuel economy, this is nothing new.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Based on tests and reviews, the only start-stop system that actually works on manual non-hybrids is the one in Mazda 3 (6 speed manual, 2 liter DISI petrol) available in Europe and Japan.
        • 4 Years Ago
        uterly nonsens...

        VW/Audi sold start stop technology from the early 1980´s first cars equipped with it was the VW Santana and the Audi 100 Formel E later they used it at models like Golf MkIII Ecomatic or in the late 90´s they put it in the Lupo 3L or the Audi A2...

        Start stop technology is 30years old now and Mazda is lightyears behind
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