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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.



It matters whether these batteries are lead acid or Li ion. If they are lead acid, they will be heavier and wear out faster. If they are Li ion they may be more expensive, but lighter. In addition, this market if fed by Li ion could be the demand that battery manufacturers can use to get their production volume up high enough to lower price, which in turn benefits the PHEV and EV markets and eventually could enable storage for renewable energy sources.

Okay, there is a lot of ifs there, but I just like the GOP to have another technology they percieve as a threat so that they have to expend even more effort to stop change. So anyway GOP, stop start equals renewable energy sources. You better look out because the market will change and you only know commodities like oil. The threats are starting to come from everywhere, boo ha ha ha!


Good points B4.

With low cost stop-start, a lighter Lion battery and lighter more efficient electrified ancillaries and improved lighter bodies and ICE, many ICEVs could do 50+ mpg and reduce current liquid fuel consumption by 50+%.

As you said, this new market for 40+ million lithium batteries per year would certainly benefit HEVs PHEVs and BEVs and bring their price closer to ICEVs.

Thomas Pedersen

Predictive driving and sailing has the combined potential to save a lot of fuel.

Where I live, most people have finally learned that you should approach a red light without engaging the clutch (manual - obviously) because the engine shuts off fuel injection in that case. However, if you predict when you have to slow down and engage the clutch, only 3 times farther from the stop, you can save much more - even with the engine idling. And even more could be saved with sailing.

Arguably, most people do not drive like this (I do), and some feel provoked by 'premature' slowing down before a stop - even though the loss of time is very low.

Outside the US most intersections have yeild instead of stop. When you slow down slower and earlier, it gives more time to assess the traffic situation, and many times it possible to avoid stopping, thus saving both fuel and time. This technique is especially useful with roundabouts where you have to slow down, but not necessarily stop, and where you can see the traffic that you have to yeild to.

I use these techniques and always get better fuel economy than rated, even though I usually go faster than the speed limit (10-20%) and frequently pass slower drivers.

Technical question: the definition of sailing in this article implies hybrid drive, as far as I can see. They talk about charging the battery while the engine i shut off, negating the possibility of a normal belt alternator. Because to really use the kinetic energy of the car to the fullest, the engine needs to be disengaged to avoid the engine brake.


You do not necessarily need hybrid drive to enable "sailing" but most likely an automated transmission of some kind will facilitate this feature easier than any “intervention” by the driver. In some driving situations it is beneficial (from fuel consumption perspective) to “disengage” the engine and leave it running on idle, i.e. sailing, instead of using the engine brake as done today. This is of more importance with gasoline engines than diesel engines, which have a “long” final drive and less throttling losses that reduces engine brake considerably. Sailing could also mean that the engine is shut down and no charging of the battery is done until the engine is engaged again, e.g. just before stopping. With a “smart” cruise control, possibly supported by GPS, the car can decide which strategy is the best. Eventually, the definition Pike use is also unclear to me.

I do have a car with start/stop but no sailing and I consistently get better fuel economy than the EU rating.

One final comment: Does Pike use the same template for all their graphs? Regardless of the topic, all graphs look more or less the same to me. Introduction of new technology always start at almost zero level “today” and continue to rise in a linear way. Can’t they come up with some other idea than just extrapolating a trend?


I forgot to mention the "freewheel" feature that most 2-stroke engine cars (SAAB, DKW…) had in the past. It was also used on the VW Lupo 3L and Audi A2 3L cars. This was sailing in a very simple way. It is said to have had a small impact on fuel economy. This and other measures could be handled much smarter with a new generation of start/stop systems.

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