Idle stop-start technology puts money in your pocket
(NC)—Automobile manufacturers are incorporating numerous solutions such as idle stop-start technology to reduce fuel consumption.
How does stop-start technology work? The vehicles' on-board computer turns off the engine when idling and during deceleration.
Although most of us tend to associate stop-start technology with hybrids, manufacturers are beginning to offer stop-start features in conventional vehicles sold in Canada. The trend could grow given that Canadian and U.S. tests of stop-start technologies have tended to underestimate their benefits, particularly in city driving. Researchers have had a habit of measuring frequent stops of shorter duration than stops of longer duration, such as during highway gridlock, which can occur just as often.
In short, here's what you need to know:
You can typically control the system through a simple on/off switch.
The system kicks in at about eight km/h during deceleration.
Some electric vehicles restrict the system from operating in temperatures below -7°C for fear the vehicle may not have sufficient battery power to start up again.
Air conditioning can be affected in certain vehicles. Depending on whether the air conditioning compressor runs off a battery or the engine, the air conditioning may stop altogether or your ventilation fan will continue to circulate air, cooling the air charge.
The bottom line is idle start-stop technology can reduce fuel consumption and emissions in city driving by four to 10 percent or more, compared to a vehicle using conventional technology. Over 10 years, this reduction corresponds to fuel savings ranging from $400 to $2,100 and CO2 reductions ranging from about 700 to 3,800 kg. At the high end over 10 years, this is equivalent to removing about one in 10 cars from Canadian roads.
Natural Resources Canada's Office of Energy Efficiency has more information at www.vehicles.nrcan.gc.ca.
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