Worldwide sales of vehicles equipped with stop-start technology (aka micro hybrids) will soar in the coming decade, rising from three million units in 2011 to 37.3 million units annually by 2020, according to Pike Research. At that level, stop-start technology will be standard equipment in more than one-third of all light-duty vehicles sold.

Although stop-start technology has not caught on in America – we blame the EPA's current testing methods – micro hybrids are already outselling conventional hybrids (i.e. the Toyota Prius) globally by a ratio of 3.5 to one. That ratio, according to Pike, will hit 16 to 1 by 2017.

Pike says that western Europe will account for 98 percent of the three million micro hybrids sold in 2011. Meanwhile, sales of stop-start-equipped vehicles in North America won't surpass one million annually until 2014. According to John Gartner, senior analyst at Pike Research, by 2020, only a handful of models (mainly subcompacts and performance-oriented vehicles) will have engines that still gulp down gas when the vehicle has come to a stop.

[Source: Pike Research]


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