Much of the efficiency of a hybrid vehicle comes from what is called a start-stop system, in which the engine of the vehicle shuts off when it comes to a complete stop. This boosts gas mileage by reducing the overall energy consumption of the vehicle, while keeping the interior electronics of the car running on reserve power.
Now, Milwaukee-based auto industry giant Johnson Controls has unveiled a new battery that brings the same start-stop system to gasoline-powered cars. The efficiency gained from these batteries does not equal that of a true hybrid; it adds about 5 percent to the vehicle’s fuel efficiency, but that would save an average family about $100 per year on fuel and helps contribute to new efficiency standards mandated by the federal government for a 2025 deadline.
Ford plans to begin rolling out vehicles with the new batteries next year. The technology will add about $500 to the price of a new vehicle, but the added expense is part of an initiative to push U.S. auto efficiency forward. Analysts predict that the start-stop system will be in about 20% of U.S. cars within 5 years.
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