Latent demand for stop-start engine technology?

Latent demand for stop-start engine technology?
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May 5, 2008 UK-based car supermarket group Motorpoint sells cars into every postcode in the UK each year and relies heavily on surveys to watch for coming trends in order to continue to meet public motoring needs. The latest informational gem to be released by the group is that a recent survey shows that 75% of UK drivers say they would buy a car that automatically cuts and restarts the engine in traffic – this is notable because the technology is straightforward and readily available to any auto manufacturer but suffers from restricted availability.

Stop-start engine technology offers up to 8% less fuel consumption in urban driving conditions and fuel savings was the top reason for the demand voiced in the Motorpoint survey.

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.

Only Citroen, BMW and Mini (aka BMW) offer stop-start on non-hybrid vehicles at present 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.

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