Ninety-seven percent of customers who purchased a 2014 or 2015 Malibu – accounting for about 83,000 vehicles – opted for the 2.5-liter, 4-cylinder base engine equipped with standard stop/start technology. It is the most aggressive rollout of stop/start technology in the U.S. by an American automaker.
Stop/start reduces fuel consumption and wasteful idling by automatically shutting off the engine when the car comes to a stop – such as at a traffic light. The engine automatically restarts within 337 milliseconds – about the speed of the blink of an eye – after the driver takes his foot off the brake.
“Chevrolet will continue to bring innovative technologies across our product lineup and stop/start is one of many ways we are helping customers save at the gas pump,” said Steve Majoros, director of Chevrolet cars.
Last fall, the 2014 Chevrolet Malibu became the first vehicle for the brand sold in the U.S. with stop/start technology. In conjunction with a new valve lift control feature and a new six-speed automatic transmission, it helped achieve a 14-percent improvement in city fuel economy, or an EPA-estimated 25 miles per gallon.
J.D. Power’s most recent Initial Quality Survey, which measures the quality of vehicles after 90 days of ownership, showed customers ranked the 2014 Malibu higher than any other vehicle in its segment.
The technology capitalizes on vehicle idling occurrences. According to Sustainable America, the average American driver spends 16 minutes each day idling in his or her vehicle. That adds up to four days a year going nowhere.
Vehicle idling also results in Americans wasting approximately 3.8 million gallons of gas each day, according to a study by The Hinkle Charitable Foundation.
This explains in part Chevrolet’s commitment to the technology. Recently, Chevrolet announced the addition of standard stop/start technology in the flagship 2015 Impala sedan. It improves city fuel economy by 5 percent, or one mpg for an EPA-estimated 22 miles per gallon. The 2015 Impala is available for sale now.
A report from Navigant Research predicted worldwide sales of vehicles with stop/start technology will grow from 8.8 million in 2013 to 55.4 million in 2022.