Global Stop-Start Vehicle Sales to Reach 37 Million Units Annually by 2020

June 1, 2011

During the past decade, automakers have introduced technologies that enable gasoline engines to turn off when vehicles are slowed down or stopped, driven largely by an effort to meet mandated carbon emissions reduction goals for vehicle fleets.  These stop-start vehicles (SSVs) also go by the names of micro hybrids, idle stop vehicles, or a variety of technologies branded by automakers, and in many cases the technology is bundled with other fuel efficient technologies.  These vehicles offer 5% to 10% reductions in both fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.  SSVs require more robust batteries and starter systems than are found in internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles and are priced at a small premium over ICEs, but considerably less than hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs).

According to a new report from Pike Research, sales of stop-start vehicles will experience strong growth in the coming decade, rising from 3 million units in 2011 to 37.3 million units per year by 2020.  By that time, the cleantech market intelligence firm forecasts that SSVs will represent more than one-third of all light-duty vehicle sales.

“Stop-start vehicles strike an attractive balance between cost and fuel efficiency improvement,” says senior analyst John Gartner.  “Stop-start technology is offered both as standard on some vehicles and as an optional package, which may be branded under a ‘blue’ or ‘eco’ label by auto manufacturers.”  Gartner adds that in Europe, more than two dozen SSV models were available as of early 2011, while in the United States, only three SSV models are for sale.

Pike Research’s analysis indicates that, with the most aggressive environmental goals in the world, Europe has seen by far the greatest selection of vehicles with stop-start technology and the greatest volume of vehicles sold.  North America has experienced a relatively slow penetration of the technology due to less stringent emissions reduction goals and a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) testing cycle that underestimates the benefits of the technology.  Although the technology is not as well known in North America, SSVs are already outselling hybrids globally, with 3.5 vehicles expected to be sold in 2011 for each hybrid.  That gap will widen to a 16 to 1 ratio by 2017 because of the lower cost of SSVs compared to HEVs.

Pike Research’s report, “Stop-Start Vehicles”, analyzes opportunities and challenges in the emerging market for stop-start vehicles.  The report provides a comprehensive examination of the stop-start component systems as well as the battery technologies used for energy storage.  The study includes forecasts through 2020 for stop-start vehicles, battery, and ultracapacitor sales in world regions.  Key market players are also profiled.  An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the firm’s website.

Pike Research is a market research and consulting firm that provides in-depth analysis of global clean technology markets.  The company’s research methodology combines supply-side industry analysis, end-user primary research and demand assessment, and deep examination of technology trends to provide a comprehensive view of the Smart Energy, Smart Grid, Smart Transportation, Smart Industry, and Smart Buildings sectors.  For more information, visit or call +1.303.997.7609.


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