Ford has announced it will use start stop technology on every 2017 F 150 it sells with a turbocharged Eco-Boost engine. That includes the 2017 F 150 Raptor. Since the EPA fuel economy testing procedure does not include coming to a complete stop and then starting up again, the start stop technology will probably have little or no affect on official fuel economy ratings. Typically, start stop systems increase gas mileage and lower carbon emissions by 4 to 5 percent.
“We haven’t completed 2017 F-150 fuel economy certification with the EPA, and that is required before we can share final numbers,” Ford’s Jessica Enoch told Autoblog. “Auto Start Stop does save fuel in stop-and-go city driving scenarios.” As car makers struggle to meet stricter fuel economy standards, every little bit of extra mileage helps. For those concerned about living with a start stop system on their next truck, that feature is disabled whenever the driver selects towing mode or four wheel drive operation.
Cheap gas is both a blessing and a curse for auto makers. On one hand, it boosts the sale of high profit vehicles like pickup trucks and SUVs. On the other hand, sales of those vehicles tend to drag corporate average fuel economy down, making it harder to meet federal requirements. The same Eco-Boost engine used across the F 150 line up is also used to power Ford’s Explorer, Flex, and Taurus SHO. The company has declined to comment on whether start stop technology will be added to those models as well.
Start stop technology often relies on power from ultracapacitors. They are better than batteries at providing the nearly instantaneous burst of power needed to restart the engine when the driver releases the brakes and steps on the throttle. Cadillac recently announced it would use ultracapacitors manufactured by Maxwell Technologies as part of the stop/start system for its 2016 ATS sedans and coupes and CTS sedans.
Ultracapacitors may also be used to power many peripheral systems such as active suspensions, electric steering systems, electric cooling and air conditioning systems, and infotainment equipment. Every task that can be deleted from the work an internal combustion engine needs to do leads to better fuel economy and lower emissions.
Image credit: Ford