Automatic start-stop systems are becoming increasingly common in Europe where many non-hybrid cars are equipped with the relatively inexpensive systems that shut down the engine to prevent idling. However, here in the US, only hybrids have that capability. At an event with some Ford executives during Detroit Auto Show, Barb Samardzich, VP of Global Powertrain engineering stated that over the next several years all Ford vehicles will get the auto-stop capability. Currently, only the Escape, Mariner, Fusion, and Milan hybrids have it here. Over in Europe, the non-hybrid start/stop is being added to cars like the new Ka. The simple systems are being implemented in Europe first because of the prevalence of manual transmissions. With a manual, it can be assumed that a driver will put the car in first gear to restart. On cars with automatic transmissions - which comprise 95 percent of the U.S. market - an electro hydraulic pump must be added to shift the transmission back to first gear before restarting. That capability will be added to all models in the coming years but we will likely get our first taste of auto auto start-stop when PowerShift dual clutch transmissions begin arriving next year.
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