## California Adopts Cooler Cars Regulation

##### 26 June 2009
 Infrared reflective glass is the more efficient—and costly—technology for reducing vehicle cabin temperature. Click to enlarge.

The California Air Resources Board adopted a regulation that will require new cars sold in California starting in 2012 to have windows that reflect or absorb heat-producing rays from the sun. This will help keep cars cooler, increase their fuel efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Cooler cars mean less air conditioning thereby increasing fuel efficiency and preventing about 700,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere in 2020—roughly the equivalent of taking 140,000 cars off the road for a year.

 Solar absorbing glass absorbs the sun’s energy, reflecting little. Click to enlarge.

The scoping plan for AB32, California’s climate change legislation, originally had proposed a cool cars measure based on reflective paints. ARB dropped consideration of that “cool paint” regulation after determining that paint technology was not ready. (Earlier post.)

Among the concerns were that GHG reductions from reflective paint were much less than anticipated; black reflective paint was not commercially acceptable (the earlier regulation had prompted a flurry of incorrect speculation that ARB was about to ban black paint); durability concerns re: chipping and scratches; and lack of compatibility with emerging paint processes that reduce emissions during paint application.

ARB staff had identified glass technology as another way of reducing vehicle cabin temperature and A/C use.

This is a common-sense and cost-effective measure that will help cool the cars we drive and fight global warming. It represents the kind of innovative thinking we need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from our vehicles and steer our economy toward a low-carbon future.

—ARB Chairman Mary Nichols

Broadly, there are two types of solar control glass technology:

• Infrared Reflective Glass requires the window to be laminated. It contains a reflective coating sputtered between pieces of glass, or uses a coated film placed between the two pieces of glass. This type is best for limiting solar energy going into the vehicle. The total energy which enter the vehicle is reduced to 40% Tts (total transmission of solar energy) (60% rejected).

• Solar Absorbing Glass is laminated or tempered, with a solar absorbing material to limit solar energy going into the vehicle. The total solar energy entering the vehicle is higher (55-60% Tts) than with Infrared reflective glass.

Compared to cars currently in showrooms, windows that comply with the standard will block 33% more heat-producing rays from the sun. This will cool the vehicle’s interior by approximately 14 °F for a car and 12 °F for a pickup or SUV. Lower temperatures require less use of air conditioning, both upon starting a car parked in the sun and while driving in sunny conditions.

Other benefits include a cooler interior upon entering the car, less time for the air conditioning to reach a comfortable temperature, and reduced fading of upholstery and cracking of the dashboard.

The regulation has two steps:

• Over a three-year period starting in 2012 windows in new cars sold in California must prevent 45% of the sun’s total heat-producing energy from entering the car, with the windshield rejecting at least 50% of the sun’s energy.

• In 2016 car manufacturers will be required to install windows in new cars sold in California that prevent at least 60% of the sun’s heat-producing rays from entering the cars interior, or propose alternative technologies to achieve an equivalent result.

Costs for the windows are expected to average $70 for the 2012 standard, and about$250 for the 2016 standard, with annual savings in gas of $16 and$20 respectively. Costs would be recouped over a five to twelve year period.

This initiative follows on the heels of a series of other measures adopted by the Board under AB 32 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles. These include a standard for cleaner lower-carbon vehicle fuels, and a regulation to ensure tire pressure is checked at smog check, oil change and other maintenance facilities.

California is also awaiting approval of a waiver from the federal government to enforce standards under its Clean Car Law that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions 30% from vehicles over the next seven years.

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You've got to love it! This from the state teetering on bankruptcy due to it's corrupt politicians: another law designed to drive the state under!

In Arizona, I would love to have a windshield that rejects heat. Almost everyone gets their windows tinted. There is a law that says you can't tint them too dark - I assume for police security when pulling someone over.

The after-market solar film already gets you 60% rejection (upto 60%). http://www.arizonasunbusters.com/6394.html

I do wish there were a better way for the car buyer to choose oem tint or not.

In spite of what foam at the mouth wing nuts have to say, this WILL get at the root problem of heat gain. It WILL reduce heating, reduce cooling and increase mileage.

For some people. If you already have window tinting, you get a little gain from the windshield.
I'd venture to say that anyone living in the sunbelt with enought money to buy a new car, gladly pays another $250 to get their windows tinted. I'd like to see the statistics on how many cars already have window tinting. Will this really help, or are we already doing it? I'd much prefer the tinting to be built in. If everyone is doing it already, then the car manufacturers are idiots for not offering already. This will be the end of after market window tinting companies, unless you can legally tint more than this minimum, in which case a double dose of tinting would really make the car cool, but I would venture to say, it would be too dark to be legal then. "cost-effective measure that will help cool the cars we drive and fight global warming. It represents the kind of innovative thinking we need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from our vehicles and steer our economy toward a low-carbon (crisis) future." —ARB Chairman Mary Nichols Of course you could build covered parking with PV on the roof and use that to recharge EVs - instead of reflecting IR energy - use it productively. "Of course you could build covered parking with PV on the roof and use that to recharge EVs - instead of reflecting IR energy - use it productively." For once we agree. It's the reel thing my friend! Of course, all windows (cars, trucks, houses, offices etc) could be made with transparent back tinted PV panels for double benefits. The cooling/heating energy saved + the electrical energy produced would make future PHEVs and BEVs go further on every charge. ICE and HEVs, equipped with electric HVAC and larger on-board battery, would go further on the same amount of fuel. All vehicles would use less added energy and produce less pollution. It would certainly cost a bit more but could be an acceptable price to pay to reduce liquid fuel consumption and air pollution for generations to come. No need to carry this to extremes. Making all Californians buy IR reflecting auto windows, even if they live in snow country is to be expected from the CARB. As an Arizonan (106 today), I don't care if they make it nationwide. In that case, the cost will probably drop rapidly – - Well below that$250 number, I hope.

This is an example of CARB mixing up the ends with the means. I applaud the goal here, of reducing emissions, but CARB should just set a number for that goal, like CO2 per mile, or MPG, and let the manufacturers work out how to get there. Whenever they dictate technology, they end up with outdated laws that make no sense when new technology comes along to disrupt it.

I'm a pretty extreme green in outlook, but this part of the liberal mindset makes me wince. The proper role of govt is to set and enforce the overall goal, according to the common good, and leave the market to do the rest.

The correlation of solar heating inside a vehicle and fuel mileage is all out of proportion and technically incorrect.

If a vehicle has a less than optimum electrical generator and battery, the battery can be overloaded (below 12 volts) when operating A/C or Heater and Fan plus other electronics. Then maybe the fuel mileage drops.

Clearly as a Battery heads to the Dead Shed, the mileage will be very poor.

However a heavy duty electrical generator and battery (my 1997 Jeep Sahara Wrangler which is 13+ years old) will not have reduced fuel mileage when operating the A/C or Heater and Fan at any setting while listening to the radio or whatever.

In my Jeep, this has been demonstrated over the past 13+ years. Mileage in city and on highway are the same as new: 13+ mpg city and 22 mpg freeway (EPA rating 18 mpg highway). I've passed all Smog Tests with "actual GHG" emissions 1/10th what California allows !!!

The CO2 comes from the tail pipe after the Catalytic Converter that converts every CO molecule into two (2) CO2 molecules !!!

I also have tinted windows. California DMV comes down hard on illegal tints of side windows that don't enable police/CHP/sheriffs to see inside the vehicle from a pass by. Hello?

What does Sun have to do with mileage again? I've recommended the Governor lay that group off since we have no budget, and are writing IOUs in the State as of Yesterday July 2nd.

P.S. Fuel mileage drops about 4 mpg on freeways when you are less than 5 car lengths behind the vehicle in front of you. In fact that is a DMV guideline, and you can be ticketed for tailgating if you are closer. But most people do this, and thinking there is some "wind drafting" effect like in NASCAR racing that benefits you.

NOT TRUE. If you let your vehicle suck in Exhaust from a vehicle in front of you, your fuel mileage DROPS !!!

I tested this in a rental Cadillac. The model had a button I could push on the dash to display Real-Time Fuel Mileage estimates.

Better than CARB regulations to tint windows is a "Real-Time Fuel Mileage" estimate option the driver can monitor to optimize driving experience. Oh, but that would be voluntary and up to the driver.

Additionally, if the CARB objective were to lower CO2 emissions that is easy.

First they have to really look at Measured Data sent to the DMV everytime a vehicle is required to get a Smog Test (every 2 years). Since my CO GHG is 1/10th or at least well below the State allowed CO level for my Jeep, then a tweak to the Catalytic Converter (if possible) should be to

INCREASE the CO GHG emissions, while

DECREASING the CO2 emissions created by the Catalytic Converter itself (by design and EPA/CARB mandate - that's what it is for).

Doesn't matter to me. CO, however, is far more lethal to Humans than CO2.

correlation of solar heating inside a vehicle,Doesn't matter to me Catalytic Converter Measured Data sent to the DMV every time Fuel mileage drops about 4 mpg on freeways,however, is far more lethal to CO

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peterscott
BMW Cars

ARB regulations to tint windows is a "Real-Time Fuel Mileage" estimate option the driver can monitor to optimize driving experience. Oh, but that would be molecules
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peterscott
BMW Cars

The CO2 comes from the tail pipe after the Catalytic Converter that converts every CO molecule into two (2) CO2 molecules !!!I also have tinted windows. California DMV comes down hard on illegal tints of side windows that don't enable police/CHP/sheriffs to see inside the vehicle from a pass by. Hello?What does Sun have to do with mileage again? I've recommended the Governor lay that group off since we have no budget, and are writing IOUs in the State as of Yesterday July 2nd.P.S. Fuel mileage drops about 4 mpg on freeways when you are less than 5 car lengths behind the vehicle in front of you. In fact that is a DMV guideline, and you can be ticketed for tailgating if you are closer. But most people do this, and thinking there is some "wind drafting" effect like in NASCAR racing that benefits you.
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Smart Car Care

Widow films would also helps a lot in keeping car cool. It can be used to reduce heat and glare. Also, it saves energy as well.

Well the idea is good but what will you do to the roof i think it receives a lot amount of heat other than windows, also cost is too much and you gain less benefits. Hybrid cars will be more environmental friendly and cost effective.

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