By Gary Thomas
Johnson Controls, a provider of automotive batteries, has conducted new consumer research and found that most U. S. consumers have expressed interest in new Start-Stop technology that will help save fuel in their vehicles and reduce emissions.
Start-Stop technology has already been introduced in Europe. When the engine is in an idle phase, it automatically shuts the engine. When the clutch is engaged or when the brake is released by the driver, the engine restarts. This helps reduce emissions and enhance the fuel economy by 5% – 10%. This technology is compatible with conventional internal combustion engines. This leads to reduced cost as it is more economical than electric or hybrid vehicles. An advanced lead-acid battery forms the major part of this novel technology. The Start-Stop technology requires frequent starts during a journey and the battery is designed to manage the deep cycling requirements needed.
The consumer research was focused on groups across major metropolitan areas and 1,200 people responded to the survey. The research considered attributes including fuel economy, price, performance and the annual fuel cost of the new power train technologies for saving fuel. The research was conducted considering the price of gas in the range from $4 to $6. When the price of gas increased the consumers were not comfortable with increase in cost to the vehicle.
The survey also found that U.S. consumers were not quite familiar with the novel technology. But they expressed interest in the system for switching off the engine when idling. To some consumers the technology "just made sense," while most of them liked it for its fuel-savings. More people were interested in paying around $500 more when considering improvement in fuel economy, lower premiums and increase in price of fuel.