Vehicle battery manufacturer Johnson Controls estimates that by 2020, 40% of vehicles in mainland China will be using start-stop technology in their vehicles. Start-stop technology turns off the engine when the vehicle stops, and turns it back on when the driver releases the brake pedal. Currently, only 2% of Chinese-made cars have start-stop technology.
Start-stop technology is available for electric and non-electric vehicles. It has the potential to improve fuel efficiency by more than 5% compared to conventional batteries. It does require a stronger battery to power all the starting and stopping. Since the engine is at operating temperature when these starts and stops occur, it does not consume more fuel the way it would during a cold start.
Kenneth Yang, general manager of Johnson Controls’ power solutions operations in China, said, “there will be a transitional period for the auto assemblers to increase fuel efficiency by adopting mature technologies such as the start-stop system.”
Last year, Johnson Controls signed a supply contract to produce start-stop batteries for SAIC Motor. On 16 April, the company said that it would begin producing advanced lead-acid batteries for start-stop vehicles in China this year.
Within the past week, Shanghai GM, a joint venture between SAIC and General Motors, announced that start-stop technology would be used in all its models by 2017.
The push to adopt start-stop technology, as well as alternative-fuel vehicles such as electric cars, comes from China’s need to cut down on pollution and meet fuel efficiency targets. “The government’s requirements to increase fuel-efficiency and the drivers’ increasing awareness on environment protection are the major driving forces,” Yang said.