Ford Motor Co. says it will begin rolling out its fuel-saving start-stop system, already in use on several models in Europe, on some 2012 North American cars and light trucks with four-cylinder engines.
The most likely initial vehicles include the 2012 Ford Fiesta and Focus cars, Escape crossover, C-Max minivan and Transit Connect delivery vehicle.
By 2015, a Ford spokesman says it should be available on most vehicles in North America.
Ford has sold more than 170,000 gasoline-electric hybrid vehicles in North America with start-stop technology since 2004--The Ford Escape and Ford Fusion Hybrids. The feature shuts down the engine when the vehicle comes to a full stop, such as at a traffic light. Fuel is saved by reducing the amount of time the engine idles. The engine restarts automatically as the driver presses down the accelerator.
The technology can boost city fuel economy as much as 10% and boost overall fuel economy up to 5%.
The system includes a light on the instrument panel that alerts the driver when the engine is off.
Research shows that consumers are wary of the technology, and especially older drivers, find it unsettling to have the engine shut down at stop lights. The vehicle systems continue to work as the engine shuts down, drawing power from the battery.
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