Pike Research forecasts 41M stop-start vehicles to be sold annually by 2020; nearly ten-fold increase from 2012
|Annual stop-start vehicle/hybrid electric vehicle sales, world markets: 2012-2020. Source: Pike. Click to enlarge.|
Pike Research forecasts that more than 41 million vehicles with stop-start systems will be sold annually worldwide by 2020—nearly a tenfold increase over 2012 sales.
Pikes’s new research report, “Stop-Start Vehicles”, finds that the stop-start technology is most popular in Europe at present, but expects volumes to grow steadily as it spreads to North America and Asia Pacific. While hybrid and electric vehicles are also expected to increase sales volumes, Pike projects that vehicles with these powertrains will remain in the low single digit percentages of the overall market, due primarily to cost.
In contrast, the ability of stop-start to deliver tangible benefits for a small premium will generate significant sales interest, Pike suggests. The stop-start feature will also benefit from the increasing popularity of the clean diesel engine and will be incorporated into many models as part of a fuel-efficient engine package.
Pike Research expects Europe to be the major market through 2018, at which time the huge market in Asia Pacific will start to take over the dominant position even if the percentage deployment there is lower. North America’s volume will reach parity with Europe’s shortly after the end of the decade.
Pike notes that one of the reasons for the slow launch of start-stop technology in North America is that the official US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) test drive cycle does not include much stationary time, so the benefits of a stop-start system do not show up in the comparison figures that are mandatory on a new car sticker.
Most existing stop-start systems activate when the vehicle comes to a complete stop; however, research and testing is underway on enhanced systems that can save even more fuel by shutting off the engine under coasting conditions. (The term “sailing” has been adopted to describe coasting when regenerative braking is active.)
However, additional changes are necessary for this option to be safe. For example, power steering and brakes must be electrically operated, and so the electrical energy storage must be bigger.
The enhanced stop-start technology will soon be able to take advantage of one of the key benefits of a hybrid system: capturing and reusing kinetic energy. If the components are configured so that they can provide some drive assist as well as rapidly restart the engine, then the true micro-hybrid will be a reality. General Motors (GM) promises this feature in production on the eAssist version of its 2013 Buick LaCrosse.
Other technology enhancements are also under consideration. For example, a potential 48-V subsystem for starter motors and energy recapture that will make the process more efficient is under discussion. Although this option was too expensive when it was first proposed, the lower cost of DC-DC converters may make it practical now.—“Stop-Start Vehicles”
The report examines stop-start component systems including the technologies used for energy storage. The study includes forecasts through 2020 for stop-start vehicle, battery, and ultracapacitor sales by world region, along with an analysis of the benefits, drivers, and market barriers for stop-start vehicles. Key market players are also profiled.