By Chris Woodyard
Ford is going to offer a feature on its next Ford Fusion that will shut the engine off automatically at stoplights to save gas. Ford will charge $295 for the option.
Start-stop is growing in popularity among automakers, but they are hesitant to offer it widely because U.S fuel standards don’t give them credit for it in assessing a car’s gas mileage ratings. Yet the savings for motorists add up:
“We expect the average Fusion driver with the 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine and Auto Start-Stop will save about $1,100 more than other midsize sedan owners during five years of driving,” said Samantha Hoyt, Fusion marketing manager. “That’s cash in their pocket and time saved with fewer trips to the pump.”
Auto Start-Stop saves fuel use when the car is standing and running at idle. Savings vary depending on driving patterns, but owners who spend more time in urban areas and heavy city traffic will benefit the most – up to 10%. On average, Auto Start-Stop improves fuel efficiency by about 3.5%.