Start-Stop Your Engines
Chicagoans like to complain about two things: weather and transportation. We can't do anything about the rain or snow, but at least we have options when it comes to getting around. We can take a bus or a train, we can bike or walk, or we can drive, which comes with its own set of complaints. One of the biggest ones? The price of gas.
If you attend the Chicago Auto Show in the next ten days you'll see several options in vehicle technology. There's your standard internal combustion drive, a hybrid electric, and a Start-Stop vehicle. This last one shuts your car off when it comes to a stop and then seamlessly turns it back on, like a golf cart. It's popular in Europe and while it hasn't quite hit the states yet, it should be coming soon.
To illustrate the difference in efficiency Johnson Controls has created MyDemoDrive.com, an interactive website that lets you choose your driving style and the price of gas. It then shows you how much a typical drive would cost you as well as the CO2 emissions. Johnson Controls is one of the leading manufacturers of the start-stop technology and they hosted a press conference at the Chicago Illuminating Company earlier this week.
While you can't get it (unless you're buying a Porsche) just yet, it's cool to check the site and see how much a typical trip costs you and how much the Start-Stop and the hybrid vehicles could save. Of course, that will just add fuel to our complaints about gas...