Just like you see all the latest automotive technologies applied to high-end class Mercedes cars, the newest innovations in the field of electric cars of a few years ago start to show up in “regular” automobiles, to reduce fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.
That’s the case of the start-stop mechanism, which was first applied in hybrids and now they port it to non-hybrid cars, transforming them into a sort of hybrid, but without the battery.
For those who don’t know, the Start-Stop mechanism stops the engine when the car stops at a traffic light and restarts it very quickly right after you push the gas pedal.
Ford has recently announced their intention to introduce the Auto Start-Stop technology in some conventional cars, crossovers and SUVs in North America starting 2012. Europe has benefited this technology since a few years ago, and is now standard in the ECOnetic models of Ka and Mondeo, with plans to include it in Focus, C-MAX and Grand C-MAX.
The Auto Start-Stop technology from Ford will decrease fuel consumption between 4 and 10 percent, which is something that approaches the consumption numbers of true battery hybrids, but with less costs and complexity. It’s an intermediate step to hybrids, which are an intermediate step to electrics, so I guess Ford is on the right track.