Idling your car at a stoplight is always damaging your plans of saving fuel and the air quality. I know someone who lives close to a stoplight and he says the air is much more polluted there than in other areas.
Stopping the engines might seem a solution to this, but it’s difficult to always remember doing it and cars aren’t built for use in such a regime. Stopping/starting too often would probably be annoying and would destroy your car’s battery faster.
The Japanese car manufacturer, Mazda, is planning to release its future models with integrated start-stop systems by 2015. This kind of technology looks very much like the one hybrid cars use, but without the electric motor and the high voltage battery. Mazda will also introduce a new direct fuel injection engine in 2011. The new engine will improve fuel economy by 15 percent in gasoline models and by 20 percent in diesel models.
Japan already enjoys this start-stop technology from Mazda. For an extra $500, consumers can order this as an option to their new car.
BMW and Mercedes say that by 2011 they will equip all their new cars with start-stop system (in fact, they already started putting it on Smarts almost two years ago).
There’s a problem with implementing the start-stop system in the U.S., as the EPA doesn’t allow its installations, reasoning that it the benefit it would bring would only account for 0.1 – 0.2 percent of the total fuel consumption. Of course, their tests only involved one stoplight… no comment on that.