Many of you know the idea of the start-stop technology in cars. If you don't, let me explain. Everyone wants to save gas and save money, so a new technology called start-stop was introduced. What this technology does is when your car is at a complete stop for more than a few seconds, the engine computer stops sparks and fuel. As soon as you move your foot off the brake paddle, the engine will start up again. For example, if you are waiting in traffic for a period of time, your engine will shut down temporarily. When the traffic starts to move again and you start taking your foot off the brake, the engine will start back up.
Problems with start-stop technology
There are a few problems with this idea. The U.S. estimates around 8 million cars will have this installed by 2017, that is not a lot of cars for that long of a time frame. This technology is a lot more popular in Europe and Japan than here in the U.S. This idea saves about 12% on fuel. That is great, but the issue with this is that it uses the car's battery more. When the car is idling, the battery has to make up for the radio, lights and AC. All of that comes from the battery, so the batteries have to be changed more frequently. Also, the car's starter has to be able to withstand the on and off cycle.
There is a new system where energy can be powered by braking. Pretty good idea if you ask me. Wait it gets better. All of this energy cannot be stored in a single battery, so researchers have thought about putting a nickel battery in the engine to save more energy. That way, the main battery lasts longer. It'll be interesting to see how this technology progresses as time goes on.
There are many ideas floating around about ways to save fuel and make automobiles more environmentally friendly. This is just one. There are a lot more that are still being explored. Let's just think how this is going to affect us on our Kentucky roads.