Last week, Ford announced that it will offer Auto Start-Stop technology in 70 percent of its North American vehicle lineup by 2017.
The idea behind Auto Start-Stop, which is currently only available in the 2014 Ford Fusion with the 1.5-liter EcoBoost engine, is rather simple: a vehicle should not be burning fuel when it is not needed, such as when it comes to a stop. Therefore, Auto Start-Stop saves fuel by seamlessly turning off the engine when a vehicle comes to a stop, and then restarts it instantly when the driver begins to release the brake pedal. While the engine is turned off, vehicle accessories and systems (such as HVAC and lights) are powered by an advanced battery in place of the engine.
The plan to make Auto Start-Stop available across more vehicles marks a milestone in Ford’s Blueprint for Sustainability. While actual fuel savings very based on driving patterns, Ford says that those who drive in heavy traffic — such as in congested urban environments — could see fuel efficiency increase by as much as 10 percent, improvements will be about 3.5 percent on average. The technology also delivers a substantial reduction in CO2 emissions, which are nearly eliminated during long idle times.
According to Ford calculations, if every new vehicle in the United States had Auto Start-Stop technology, over 3 million metric tons of carbon dioxide would be prevented from entering the atmosphere, while saving 315 million gallons of gasoline.
“Simply put, Auto Start-Stop helps customers use less fuel, which is an important component of Ford’s Blueprint for Sustainability,” said Bob Fascetti, vice president, Ford global powertrain. “By making Auto Start-Stop available on more vehicles, we are working to be part of the solution to environmental sustainability with effective, fuel-saving technologies.”
Auto Start-Stop is smart and simple while improving fuel economy and reducing carbon dioxide emissions. Thanks to its electrified powertrain offerings, including vehicles equipped with hybrid and plug-in hybrid systems, Ford has years of experience with the technology under its belt. Today, the feature is popular in various Ford models in Europe, and The Blue Oval expects to sells over 500,000 vehicles equipped with it globally by the end of 2013.
Ford’s plans to expand the availability of Auto Start-Stop comes on the heels of the 45 MPG EPA highway rating for the 2014 Ford Fiesta equipped with Ford’s award-winning 1.0 liter EcoBoost engine, making the subcompact car the most fuel-efficient non-hybrid and non-diesel vehicle in the U.S.