SSVs, which eliminate idling by shutting off the engine when the vehicle is stationary and restarting it automatically when it is time to move, offer a portion of the fuel economy benefits of hybrid vehicles at a fraction of the cost premium.
Having proved popular with consumers because of its better fuel economy and the engine silence when it is stopped at an intersection, stop-start technology is seen as a low-cost and highly beneficial investment for auto manufacturers.
“The latest stop-start systems are beginning to adopt some of the features that were first developed for full hybrid vehicles, such as energy recovery through regenerative braking,” said David Alexander, senior research analyst with Navigant Research. “The challenge for automakers is to get the biggest efficiency benefits from the smallest cost increment.”
One challenge for this market, according to the report entitled 'Stop-Start Vehicles', is that stop-start technology goes by many different names, depending on the region of the world and the automaker. Automakers tend to assume that most consumers do not want to know how their vehicles work to achieve fuel efficiency, so they focus on promoting positive outcomes instead. However, some consumers would be more likely to ask about optional packages if consistent terminology were used in the descriptions and if the benefits were more clearly explained in marketing and advertising materials. Greater clarity across the industry in communicating the advantages of SSV technology could increase sales of SSVs for all manufacturers, the study concludes.
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