By on March 26, 2009

Autobloggreen recently got its paws on a presentation (PDF, read the whole thing) from the California Air Resource Board’s public “cool cars workshop.” And let’s just say the thing exudes the kind of bureaucratic overreach heretofore only imagined by folks sporting the latest in tinfoil chapeau. Here’s the logic: cars that get hot when they sit require greater air conditioning, which increases fuel consumption and (tada!) air pollution. And since architectural surface coatings are 25-35 percent reflective, there’s no reason not to require similar levels from auto paint, right? Skyscrapers, cars; potato, potahto. CARB will require vehicle surfaces to reflect at least 20 percent of solar energy by 2012, a figure that no black auto paint can currently achieve. One third of OEM palettes must meet the 20 percent mark by then, and all OEM paints must meet the goal by 2016. Oh, yes, and by 2016 even collision repair shops have to use the special paint. The only mitigation for these rules are if you sufficiently increase the Rd factor of your cars windshield glazing. And just to keep a song in your heart, “other compliance options are under investigation.”

The benefits? About .8 million metric tons less CO2 released per year. At an estimated OEM cost of between $39 and $128 per vehicle. But the real price is paid by the consumer, who will not only shoulder the OEM cost increase but will also see repair costs increase while losing the freedom to buy a car in their preferred color. Reducing cooling emissions is one thing in a skyscraper, where a one-time glazing investment can greatly reduce both the cost and environmental impact of cooling. But for government to transfer architectural regulations wholesale to the automotive sector betrays both a lack of perspective and an attitude of regulation-at-all-costs. Given the myriad improvements to efficiency and emissions that continue to occur in the automotive sector, regulating car color comes across as nothing more than an exercise in bureaucratic power for its own sake. And it hastens a world where cars no longer reflect the diversity of our culture and aspirations. Or are we supposed to be happy that CARB didn’t mandate one single acceptable color?

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134 Comments on “CARB So Crazy: California To Ban Black Cars?...”


  • avatar
    threeer

    I guess that turns ol’ Henry Ford’s Model T theory of “having it any color you want, as long as it’s black” completely around to “you can have any color you’d like, as long as it’s NOT black!” If even really being considered, this is beyond stupid. With all that ails us in the world, these morons are truly concerned with the color choice of our cars? Welcome to the USSA…

  • avatar
    DweezilSFV

    God.I hate this state.Makes me sorry to say that I was born here.

  • avatar
    Jared

    The members of CARB need to be run out of Sacramento on a rail.

  • avatar
    dhanson865

    They aren’t banning black cars. Talk about a misleading headline.

    They are saying you that if you want a black car you have to change your windows in some way to reflect more heat. That can be:

    Tinting
    Glazing
    replacing windows
    any technique you can think of that I didn’t cover.

    I’m no glassman so excuse me if I forgot an obvious choice or if tinting and glazing are overlapping terms.

    a correct headline would be:

    CARB So Crazy: California to make you change your windows or paint or both.

    For some reason even though the PDF talks about paint and windows and people want to ignore the windows component.

  • avatar
    redbeard

    Awesome! They’re requiring darker window tint!

    In my state (Utah), window tint is strictly limited to a very, very light tint. Now I can claim justification. I’m saving the environment.

  • avatar
    ca36gtp

    Day by day, we get closer to The Giver.

    Yay for the Democratic Socialists!

  • avatar
    marshall

    My experience is that the color of the car’s interior has a much larger effect on the interior temperature than the paint color.

    The CARB would accomplish more by banning black upholstery (and black leather).

    from the CHP’s web site (re tinting):
    The main requirements for legal window tinting in California are:

    * The windshield and front driver’s side and passenger’s side windows cannot receive any aftermarket tinting.
    * If the rear window of a vehicle is tinted, the vehicle must have outside rearview mirrors on both sides.

    And finally, I am glad to see that all of the more serious problems that CA is facing have been solved, so we can turn our attention to deciding what color cars will be allowed in the state.

  • avatar
    AWD-03

    I wonder about California. Why don’t we have auto makers paint the whole car mirror silver? That way these people can do lines off the hood to go along with whatever they are smoking.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    One one hand, yes, it sounds petty.

    On the other hand, I just shaved a several thousand dollars off a company’s energy bill by deploying a package that forces PCs to go into sleep mode after certain periods of inactivity, so petty methods, en masse, can have significant impact.

    The problem is, asking ten thousand users to sleep their PC is no feasible (ignorance, stupidity, resentment of control, etc). Deploying one package is feasible, easy and effective.

    It’s like Carter’s “please turn down your thermostat”. If fifty million houses do it, it has an effect, even if it’s not immediately evident. But lots of people won’t do it because they a) don’t care, b) like it hotter and/or c) are of a different political stripe and automatically dislike anything Jimmy Carter said. So sometimes you legislate the unpleasant and the petty, because people, in groups, are unpleasant and petty themselves.

  • avatar
    Loser

    If they are going to get stupid why not go all the way and just ban air conditioning for all vehicles.

  • avatar
    Rastus

    I want you all to know something…this is NOT about cars.

    …it is simply about CONTROLLING you as an individual. That’s IT, plain and simple.

    You must be brought to a state of conditioning where you FEAR driving down the road…where you FEAR being pulled over and having an OFFICER of the LAW *THREATEN* you with a hefty fine and/or jail time.

    That’s what it’s about…it has NOTHING to do with Global Warming folks.

    When you go to the store to buy that gallon of milk, By God you must FEAR authority.

    Cars my ass…

  • avatar
    AWD-03

    psarhjinian Why don’t they just say you can’t get air conditioning then. Really take it to that next level. I mean people the world over don’t have AC and some of these people have truly worse climates than the glorious weather of CA.

  • avatar
    hazard

    Does that mean white cars will be banned in, say, Alaska? I mean in northern climates paints must absorb more heat to avoid wasting gasoline on heating the vehicle…

  • avatar
    AWD-03

    Rastus I think you need to worry less about control from the government and realize that these poeple are all half informed people trying to do what they think is right. They don’t realize they are half informed though. Would this plan actually save fuel? That is a valid question even if the answer is a little hard to figure out by just talking. I would like to see a simple study of one make of car with different colors and compare fuel consumption by color. Given a wide enough sample the stats should show this to be bunk.

  • avatar
    Rastus

    “Would this plan actually save fuel?”

    It is the price of fuel which either “saves” it…or which “wastes” it. Ok, we don’t need legislation on the books, we don’t need a panel of so-called experts (bureaucrats) to manage which type of paint goes onto a car or what type of “reflectivity” the glass maintains.

    Please start thinking for yourself…and more importantly, take responsibility for yourself and your own actions.

    Here is a little hint my friend, the government is not going to “save” you….or “save” anything else. In fact, they have a vested interested in oil consumption…as they tax each and every gallon of it you consume.

  • avatar

    Rastus :…it is simply about CONTROLLING you as an individual. That’s IT, plain and simple.

    Agreed.

    Though I must say, driving a white Cadillac Fleetwood with a white padded roof and black tinted windows made for a car that stayed unbelievably cool in the hottest Houston summer.

    Me thinks CARB needs to make white padded vinyl roofs mandatory. It will work, and make everything super stylish!!!

  • avatar
    dl_caldwell

    I agree with Marshall, it’s the INTERIOR color that will drive up the use of A/C. Hey this is California after all, why stop at color. PETA hates Leather so interiors will only be available in cloth covering. Ohh and it must be 100% recycled materials too! No toxic chemicals in the car either. Oh are they going to have a field day with this. The weather may be great, but I’m so happy I don’t live in CA!

  • avatar
    BDB

    Hey Rastus, you’re not going to freak out of I tell you that the government mandates things like the size of your toilet bowl and how much water it can use, and has for a really long time, are you?

  • avatar
    Dave

    Will they also stop black cars from driving into California from Nevada?

  • avatar
    Rod Panhard

    I lived and drove in the South for 27 years. Whether I had a dark car or a white car, the a/c ran all the time from about tax day until almost Thanksgiving. It didn’t matter. Hot is hot.

  • avatar
    Rastus

    No, I’m not. I’m just trying to point out a thing or two. It’s called “govt. creep”, “incrementalism”…whatever you want to call it.

    Don’t be surprised that there are a few people who call bullshit “bullshit”.

    What you need to worry about are those who blindly agree to everything …right up to the time where they are shackled to a set of bars.

    Does the government mandate which direction the water swirls in those toilets? Clockwise? Counter-clockwise?

  • avatar
    JT

    OK, everybody put down your politics and step away from the rhetoric! This is one of many proposals to drive small but incremental improvements. And as ideas go, it’s not too bad.

    Three years ago, at an SAE seminar, I experienced this type of paint during a demo. Two visually identical cars (Cadillacs, I think…uncertain) were parked in the Phoenix afternoon sunlight. Ambient temp was >105 deg.

    Both cars were a darkish silver-grey; plainly not black but not shiny silver either. One was painted in a trick, heat rejecting paint (from PPG? don’t have my notes here…) and the other was in stock GM attire.

    Pretty simple test after 30 minutes of sunsoak: put one hand on each hood simultaneously. The difference was amazing! You couldn’t keep a flat palm on the stock paint for more than 10 secs or so, but the trick paint felt “just above warm.”

    Measured interior temps in both (instrumented) cars also reflected the benefit; almost 20 deg less for the proto-painty one.

    Another variant that was shown had solar cells in the sunroof glass. They powered small fans which would vent the interior when a certain temp was reached. Big drop in interior temp with that one.

    People are easy to cool; keeping the heat out of the large mass of the dash, seats, and carpet can have a noticable effect and reduce the need for A/C. Less A/C use means better MPG. Case closed.

    JT

  • avatar
    Ingvar

    It seems silly, but it actually makes sense…

    Though, the problem is, if we are going down that road, that this policy can be applied elsewhere. Why not make it mandatory to paint all the houses black, to save the energy and electrical bill? The cost of keeping houses warm must be greater than the cost of keeping cars cool?

  • avatar
    Sanman111

    Alright, so California is trying to increase paint reflectivity. Someone please correct me if I am wrong, but increasing relectivity in all cars would increase glare. A highway full of cars causing increased glare to fellow drivers seems likely to increase accidents for a rather trivial difference in emissions.

    On a completely unrelated note, who murders out a Prius? Actually, it is a good idea. It’s so quiet that the rival gang will never hear you coming for the drive-by shooting.

  • avatar
    miked

    The exterior color of the car has Zero, yes Zero, effect on the interior temperature of the car. There is absolutely no way for that to have any effect. There may be a small effect based on interior color, but it’s not going to matter. If RF wants, I’ll be glad to do a 800 word article on this with all the fancy math. But right now, I’m not going to bore people with it. This is just California being really stupid. I can see trying to be a dogooder and save the enviornment, but here they’re just making things up.

  • avatar
    Richard Chen

    I will be looking forwards the to white wicker seats and pale bamboo floors in my next new car.

  • avatar
    dean

    The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

    If they really want to pursue this, they should ignore the paint and focus on glass. I wager if you took two identical cars, save that one is white and one is black, then sat them out for an hour in direct sun on a hot day with all the windows open, you would find a negligible difference in interior temperature.

    And standards for glazing performance would have much less impact on our ability to choose the cars and colors we want.

  • avatar
    Rastus

    Invar,

    Your type of thinking is JUST what they want…someone who shakes his head up and down and say “yeah, this is Wonderful…let’s apply it to ALL aspects of society…down to what color your house may be, down to ….”…

    I give up sometimes…if you like that type of slavery Invar you are welcome to it…but please don’t force it upon everyone else, ok?

    Sincerely…

  • avatar
    ktristan

    Banning black cars isn’t shocking.

    We pretty much turned the corner towards Big Brother (1984 style) with the help of the Patriot Act, which gave the government the power to wiretap it’s own citizens without warrant, and arrest without warrant.
    Talk about the Constitution being ripped to pieces…

  • avatar
    Ingvar

    Rastus: It’s called irony. By taking something really stupid and extrapolate it to its logical consequence, the silliness appears in all its naked beauty.

  • avatar
    geeber

    BDB: Hey Rastus, you’re not going to freak out of I tell you that the government mandates things like the size of your toilet bowl and how much water it can use, and has for a really long time, are you?

    A car’s color reflects the taste of the buyer, and therefore has always been considered a personal decision. Most people don’t care how big their toilet bowl is (although they do care about the color), unless they are candidates for The Biggest Loser.

    And the idea that some regulation is good, so therefore ALL proposed regulations are also good and valid, just doesn’t hold water.

    We don’t let 20-year-olds legally drink alcohol…so let’s bring back Prohibition for everyone.

    Proponents of excessive regulation also run the risk of looking silly. People who try to create utopia for whatever reason – religious, environmental, economic – invariably end up looking silly, at best. And banning black cars just looks silly.

    Hence the ridicule on this site, even from posters who aren’t reflexively anti-regulation. A smart person knows when to STOP as well as when to stop. Otherwise, they end up looking like the leftist equivalent of those people who rail against the availability of Playboy at the neighborhood magazine stand.

  • avatar
    Jeff Puthuff

    Think of all the water this will save! Black cars look dusty the minute you drive away from the car wash. And swirls? Forget it. White cars “for the win!” (Is this FTW meme dead yet?)

  • avatar
    carlisimo

    miked, I’d love to see the math, because I don’t believe you right now.

    Ingvar, the building industry has made a lot of progress on energy use in the last several years. Roofs (and walls, glazing, and airflow) are now pretty well thought out.

  • avatar
    Arminius

    Why not offer the reflective paint/glass as an OPTION, and leave it to the consumer to determine if saving the environment is worth the extra $200, $300, $400 or whatever it costs. What most on this site object to is having it rammed down our throats, myself included.

    Reminds me of an article I saw years ago. A SF councilman proposed that the city give the homeless credit car readers. That way, if you didn’t have any change you could still give them money. These are the people who write the laws and expect us to obey.

  • avatar
    BDB

    “And the idea that some regulation is good, so therefore ALL proposed regulations are also good and valid, just doesn’t hold water. ”

    You can criticize this proposed regulation, but the ZOMG! TEH SLAVERY! talk is overreacting.

    I think this regulation is silly and won’t do much. I also don’t think it’s the end of western civilization or the beginnings of a totalitarian Communist government or whatever. Even treating it that way for a second sucks the potential for rational debate right out of the conversation.

  • avatar
    no_slushbox

    Black paint sucks.

    It does make the car hotter inside.

    It always looks dirty.

    Its heat buildup makes black paint less durable than other paint.

    Black isn’t even a color.

    But I don’t want the government to ban it.

    Sajeev Mehta:

    You might be on to something, old pre-AC cars had white roofs to stay cool.

    The retro MINI and FJ Cruiser still emulate those roofs (except for the MINIs with black roofs, which have no reason to exist).

  • avatar
    SunnyvaleCA

    I think I have to agree with Mr. Miked about this one (above). Exterior color is probably not very important.

    The exterior color is going to determine how hot the outside of the car gets, which isn’t going to make much difference to the inside temperature.

    Probably better ideas:
    * better passive ventilation for when the car is parked
    * window coatings for reflecting infrared
    * lighter color interior

    Any of these efficiency ideas, just like CAFE regulations, isn’t going to amount to much improvement compared to making consumers actually care about saving fuel with a fuel tax.

  • avatar
    chuckR

    I for one welcome our CARB overlords. And I look forward to car interiors lined with undyed organic hemp fabric.

    I’m so glad CARB provides employment for imbeciles, err, I mean, the mentally challenged. They did so well with their electric vehicle initiative….

    So tell me, have they considered the VOC content of paints that do meet their standards? The incremental costs of material and any required changes to spray equipment and drying booths? Do they have any hard engineering measurements comparing, say, a white car with black interior to a white car with beige interior to a black car with black interior to a black car with beige interior? Their little presentation indicates 87.5% of the hot soak temperature reduction comes from glazing and only 12.5% from the paint. Is the paint worth it? Please tell me what the 30% reduction in light transmittance through the windshield does for older drivers who already have reduced night vision. And for drivers of any age for that matter. Any estimates of increased accidents and injuries/fatalities arising from same? Could much of this benefit be achieved from the common sense mandate of lighter colored interiors (if that proves out from the college sophomore level engineering tests mentioned above)? Whats the cost benefit of mandating solar powered air circulation in parked cars (added benefit, possibly fewer kids and pets cooked to death)?

    California has some great engineering schools. CARB should let them tear this presentation apart before springing it on the credulous press and general populace.

  • avatar
    miked

    carlisimo – here’s a quick argument, I can’t spend a bunch of time right now because I’m at work and it’s best if I don’t get fired.

    The quick argument is that metal is nearly a perfect reflector (that’s why they make mirrors out of it!). So any radiation that makes it beyond the paint will be reflected back automatically. That leave the paint as the only thing that can heat up. It’s true that black paint will absorb more heat than white paint, but the paint thickness is so small that the actual amount of heat that it can store is incredibly small and will make no difference on the internal temperature of the car.

    The reason a car heats up is the “green house effect.” Light comes in through the windows. The interior absorbs this light and reflects it as infrared radiation (heat). Glass is a good insulator, so the IR doesn’t get out. A white interior will covert less light to heat, so the car will warm up more slowly. But it’s a fairly small effect. Remember that light of all wavelengths is getting in the windows, not just visible, and will all get turned into heat.

    The CARB recommendation of more tint/reflective windows will actually make a difference. And I’d love to be allowed to increase the tint on my car. But the paint color is such a small effect that it’s not even worth wasting any time legislating.

  • avatar

    What are we without our freedoms?

    -Even the freedom to do what Liberals disagree with?

    There has got to be a science hack to reduce carbon via large installation enough that we can still exercise our freedom of choice.


    …though I sincerely hope that hack involves launching Batman’s ‘Tumbler’ through Al Gore’s head.

  • avatar
    Ralph SS

    Having lived in CA for 30 years in the Central Valley I managed to figure out for myself fairly early on that in an area with regular 100° + temps, cloudless skies, I didn’t want a black car. So, I never owned a black car while I was there. I know what your thinking – “this guy is pretty smart. Beat CARB to the punch years ago.”

  • avatar
    kurtamaxxguy

    California ban black cars? Not anytime soon. Black cars are virtually everywhere down there, with black out window tints so no one can see in (and barely out).
    They are a status symbol and hugely popular.

    But black surfaces, whether blacktop parking lots, roofs, or cars, do generate huge amounts of urban heating, in some cases enough to change the area’s climate.

    As pointed out earlier, car exteriors, as do dash and visible interior surfaces, _do_ affect car interior temperature. In summer dark exteriors can fry food, while dark interiors fog quickly with out-gassing from overheated plastics. I know this from experience.

    Rather than outright bans, incremental approaches such as glass or paint reflecting infra-red radiation will reduce heating, as would incentives for attractive photovoltaic surfaces. More draconian would be “energy footprint” taxing making black paint finishes more expensive to buy.

    What the best answer is, I don’t know. But I’m glad I no longer live in CA.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    Black isn’t even a color.

    But I don’t want the government to ban it.

    They aren’t. CARB will impose a reflective paint standard. If history repeats itself, after some vigorous whining and complaining, the auto industry will figure out how to comply with it.

    We had the same sort of complaints about catalytic converters and unleaded gas, but somehow, we managed to make those work and we benefited from the change. Much ado about nothing.

  • avatar
    Rastus

    Unfortunately, by “engaging” these people with debate, studies, counter-studies, scientific inquiry, etc…you are giving the losers an excuse for being.

    You need to wash your hands of this incestuous nonsense.

    We don’t need more electric cars, we need more electric chairs!

  • avatar
    jkross22

    @ JT:

    “Three years ago, at an SAE seminar, I experienced this type of paint during a demo”

    “People are easy to cool; keeping the heat out of the large mass of the dash, seats, and carpet can have a noticable effect and reduce the need for A/C. Less A/C use means better MPG. Case closed.”

    Wow, so one test in a controlled environment equals ‘case closed’.

    Ooookay.

  • avatar
    chuckR

    ooh, ooh, argon filled windshields…..

    with little recharge ports to top up every few years….

  • avatar
    BDB

    But Pch101! I want the FREEDOM to CHOOSE to use gas with dangerous levels of lead in it!

    /snark

  • avatar
    no_slushbox

    Pch101:

    You are definitely right about catalytic converters and unleaded gas, and I would also mention electric fuel injection and engine management systems.

    I didn’t mean to say that this CARB proposal would ban black paint, just that I don’t agree with some people who are saying they are indifferent to it being banned.

    The 20% reflective standard is for the whole surface, and can probably be reached just by improving the glass, without changing the paint.

    It might lead to some new glass technologies that will be useful in a variety of applications.

  • avatar
    MBella

    BDB, and that’s why the toilet’s flush so well now. After a dinner at Taco Bell it takes 5 flushes to get it down, in what would be a single flush job on an old toilet. Yes it uses 1.5 gallons or whatever, but flushing it five times has to use more water than an old toilet.

  • avatar

    Going from a white sedan to a dark racing green sedan (both cars with similar interior colors) drastically increased how much the car heated up in the sun. And while with the white car, even on the hottest days stuff in the trunk stayed cool, in the dark racing green car, on hot summer days, anything in the trunk heats up. Given the sheer numbers of cars on the roads, and the fact that this regulation is not exactly onerous, I don’t see why everyone is complaining. I have actually thought of having my current car repainted white. If I still lived in DC, instead of Boston, I probably would do it.

  • avatar
    Rastus

    “I (you) probably would do it”.

    Great…at least YOU still have a choice. I don’t suppose you’d like to be threatened to do it, would you?

  • avatar

    Bend over. The government’s coming.

  • avatar
    Daniel J. Stern

    For just a brief moment, let’s leave off the hystrionics, temper tantrums, and conspiracy theories. Strictly on a technical level, this idea has a lot of merit. OK, right this instant there’s no black paint that meets the reflectivity standard. Remember, in 1972 there were almost no cars that met the 1974 new-car emission standards, either. Most of the ’74s barely met the ’74 standards, all of the ’75s met the ’74 standards with margin to spare, by ’81 the ’74 standards were a cakewalk to meet, and by ’91 there remained almost no evidence on the road that the ’74 standards had caused any problem at all. There are dozens — hundreds — of examples just like this; a regulation such as the proposed solar-reflectivity standard tends to increase and accelerate research and development in the regulated field, with long-term net benefits.

    Y’like being able to hop in your car whether it’s -20° or 120°, flick the key and move out immediately with flawless driveability, and without being gassed by the exhaust of the car in front of you? Well, that happy state of affairs is significantly attributable to those ’74 emission standards everyone squawked about at the time. And if it means there’ll be paint available that’ll keep my old car cooler in summer the next time I repaint it, well, I say bring it on!

  • avatar
    JTParts

    You can have any color as long as we say you can have any color. I live in the Peoples Republic of California and this is just one of many ridiculous things that are getting shoved down my throat, along with billions of dollars of taxes that are being forced on us.

    Last night I was driving down Cajalco Road, it’s a really cool twisty backway to the shopping center. And I realized just what terrible condition our roads are in. Ca is the highest taxed state in the nation. Every year they steal all the highway money for some other octomom BS. My point is that if we didn’t all have to sit in traffic and idle all damn day, IF they improved the roads and the flow of traffic instead of worrying about some miniscule BS increase in economy we would be way better off. The Next step will be telling me where I can live because it’s too hot/cold/wet/dry whatever.

    Why can’t we just install solar vent fans that keep the interior a reasonable temp?

    Can’t wait till the new paint starts cracking and peeling, just like when they killed petro based paints years ago.

    Oh yeah, I sometimes, WANT an incandescent bulb.

    What happened to freedom and choice?

  • avatar
    chuckR

    ACs are sized to quickly bring down the hot soak temperature. If what is true of room ACS holds for auto ACs, this implies they are inefficient in maintaining an already cooled-down space. What’s the cost benefit of solar powered cooling of parked cars allowing reduced size/weight/cost ACs that are more efficient for maintaining already lowered temperatures?

    And again, regarding the paint, CARB’s own assumptions are that only 1/8th the soak temperature reduction comes from the paint; 7/8ths from the reduced glazing heat transmittance. What’s the point of the paint? Compare the cost to the cost of solar powered muffin fan cooling…. or other options.

    Back to the drawing board, CARB. Grade for your sophomore engineering lab project – C-. A lab project means doing some real world side by side tests, like JT mentioned, except with a lot more potential solutions considered – and objective measurements made.

  • avatar
    john m flores

    @JT, Interesting story about the SAE seminar.

    The headline of this story is pretty sensationalist. Nowhere in the presentation is there any mention of banning black cars.

    Slide 8 notes the technical challenge that jet black presents at achieving 20-25% reflectivity.

    But just three slides later they are discussing the idea of reducing paint reflectivity requirements if reflective window glazing is included.

    Anyhow, it’s not a law yet. The 45 day comment period begins May 11th. If this really peeves you, do more than vent on TTAC, get involved in the process.

  • avatar
    Areitu

    Was this what people said when Ferrari had to take lead out of their paint?

    Dropping political rhetoric for a moment…

    To address Sanman111‘s concern about glare, reflectivity does not necessarily apply to visible light. 3M has window tint that reflects 50% of solar energy (97% of IR, 38% solar heat reduction) while reducing visible glare. 3M, duPont or a major chem companies, given the chance to sell millions of gallons of special black paint, will engineer compliant black paint that doesn’t look odd at a competitive price. Will it cost more? Sure, but metallic paint does too.

    You may now resume political rhetoric.

    I flipped through the PPT (I’d probably fall asleep during the actual presentation) and so far what CARB has, is still just a proposal, like Oregon’s tax-by-mile and making it difficult to use different tires because they affect fuel economy.

    no_slushbox :
    March 26th, 2009 at 11:57 am

    Black isn’t even a color.

    I LOL’d at this one…I have a black car and live in California (sssshhh…I love it here)

    JTParts : Not sure where you live but I think you can still buy incandescent bulbs. Qatar is the world’s least taxed nation, coincidentally not the best place to own a black car.

  • avatar
    seabrjim

    Rastus, you can wake everyone up. Some will be happy with the emerging police state we live because then they wont have to think. They will be told what to do and think, and like it. Even if it means what color car big brother says they can have in the name of “being green”. While they leave a bigger carbon footprint than us serfs could ever imagine.

  • avatar
    BDB

    “Was this what people said when Ferrari had to take lead out of their paint? ”

    How about when they banned plate glass windows?

    Or mandated that seatbelts be installed?

    It’s slavery, I tells ya! I want the CHOICE to be hurled through a plate glass window with zero restraint!

  • avatar
    Pch101

    They will be told what to do and think, and like it. Even if it means what color car big brother says they can have in the name of “being green”.

    Nobody suggested banning anything. Not that I particularly want to tell you what to do, but if you would read the PDF presentation first, then comment on its actual content, then you wouldn’t make that claim.

    For just a brief moment, let’s leave off the hystrionics, temper tantrums, and conspiracy theories.

    If we did that, then we’d put this into perspective and have little to complain about. No, no, no, it’s much more fun to use this proposal as a way to rant against a strawman that it would be to debate it on its actual merits or lack thereof.

  • avatar

    These CARB whackos have been trying to (and mostly succeeding at) killing Diesel as a motive power option in cars for decades. Ironically their latest goalpost-shift for Diesel emissions is killing the nascent biofuel movement before it is born. B100 is completely carbon neutral but a 2009-spec CARB-compliant Diesel can’t burn anything higher than a B5 blend… essentially turning a potentially carbon-neutral car into a 95% higher carbon emitter. Thanks Sacramento!

    Now these same loonies want to mandate color choice and window tint? Their track record of unintended consequences is really poor. But maybe going after the majority will finally get somebody to rein them in or (gasp) perhaps eliminate them entirely! I can only hope.

    –chuck

  • avatar
    seabrjim

    Sorry, my edit button isnt working. You CANT wake everyone up.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    How about when they banned plate glass windows?

    Those Marxist lunatics and their newfangled safety glass can go straight to that hot place. They obviously hate my freedom to slice myself up with large chunks of glass flying at me at a high rate of speed. I mean, who do they think they are?

  • avatar
    BDB

    Pch101, this whole discussion reminds me of this cartoon:

    http://www.slowpokecomics.com/strips/toughkids.html

    Pretty much sums up my feelings.

  • avatar
    kericf

    I have a question.

    I live in Houston, TX. It gets unbarably hot and humid here. In the summer, I will run my A/C constantly while I am in the car. If I get cool enough I still don’t adjust it down. If I run my A/C full tilt whenever I drive why does it matter at all what the color of my car is (Dark Green FYI). The A/C doesn’t know what color the car is. It just cools the air. Whether it’s 120 or 110 degress in the car the A/C will be on and most people will drive with it on. A black car running the A/C is using just as much gas as a white or silver car running the A/C. Color is not a variable in this equation. Yes it may take longer to cool off inside the darker colored car but the A/C is still running full blast no matter the color. It’s not like they put stronger A/C in black cars that burn more fuel.

  • avatar
    ZoomZoom

    I am waiting for the next study that says that white is worse than black because it reflects too much light back into the sky and blinds the red-crested-screeching-squib-oakbreasted-whipporwhill bird or some crap like that.

    Then every car will have to be grey. And not just any grey, either. It will have to be that one specific shade that is exactly in between black and white.

    Way to go, California voters!

  • avatar
    carlisimo

    miked, the paint absorbs heat, transfers it to the sheetmetal (metal reflects radiation, but it’s great in conduction), and the metal emits it in both directions – into the car and back into the paint. A lot of the heat that goes back into the paint is absorbed and transfered back to the metal, and half of that goes into the car, the other half back into the paint… etc.

    That’s my qualitative take on it.

  • avatar
    fredtal

    I’m living in Texas where we don’t have as much bs rules, but in a few years I’d like to move back to California to be near my family. With rules like this I’m growing more relunctent.

  • avatar
    Ferrygeist

    “Going from a white sedan to a dark racing green sedan (both cars with similar interior colors) drastically increased how much the car heated up…in the dark racing green car, on hot summer days, anything in the trunk heats up.”

    Obviously, the dark racing green color car was heating up because of the Lucas electronics, not solar radiation absorption.

    [rimshot]

  • avatar
    50merc

    hazard: “Does that mean white cars will be banned in, say, Alaska? I mean in northern climates paints must absorb more heat to avoid wasting gasoline on heating the vehicle…”

    No, in Alaska cars must be black. But if you take an Alaska car into California, you’ll have to drive around in a huge white bag like in those Enterprise Rental commercials.

    chuckR: “I for one welcome our CARB overlords.”

    Oh, me too! It was so gratifying to see that the car makers are falling in line by adding CARB’s “global warming warnings” to the Fed-required window stickers. (Of course, in the Age of Obama, they’d be crazy to resist.) Now that California has experienced stunning success with all problems within its borders, it has turned its attention to safeguarding the weather in Juneau and Java.

    Federalism is dead except in flyover country.

  • avatar
    gusplus

    *sigh*

  • avatar
    seabrjim

    Pch101, jet black remains an issue? I did read the pdf. You seriously think they wouldnt ban black? Have you read any of the goofball legislation that state has crammed down the throats of its citizens in the last 20 years? You have way more trust in your govt than I do. After all, They never take away our freedoms or liberties, incrementally or otherwise.

  • avatar
    Rastus

    Are they going to outlaw black people next? I mean, SURELY the same logic applies, right?

    Let’s hold a public debate, commission a $4Million study, submit Requests for Comment, and then elicit a follow-on study which will lead to enacting what we had already DECIDED upon from the get go.

    The illusion of debate, comments, public input, etc is just that- an illusion that you have a voice. They are going to shove their agenda down your throat whether you like it or not. The studies, etc. are just a way of consuming large quantities of money …so they can demand even more money next year….to justify their pathetic existence.

    That’s how it operates.

  • avatar
    geeber

    BDB: Pretty much sums up my feelings.

    That cartoon is as silly as claiming that these regulations will bring about the new slavery.

    And someone needs to tell the artoonist that speed limits don’t prevent kids from being thrown from vehicles, and, on limited access highways, don’t necessarily even save lives. As I said, the idea that all regulations are good is just plain silly.

  • avatar
    BDB

    “And someone needs to tell the artoonist that speed limits don’t prevent kids from being thrown from vehicles, and, on limited access highways, don’t necessarily even save lives.”

    Dude, its satirical. Don’t take it literally.

    I’d just like to be able to debate the actual proposal (not the strawman version) in a politically neutral way. But it seems the possibility for that on this thread has passed.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    You seriously think they wouldnt ban black?

    No, they really don’t care about the color, per se; they are the Air Resources Board, not the Fashion Police.

    They’d impose a reflective standard and expect it to be met. It’s the same old pattern – the automakers will probably complain, then work with the folks who make paint and windows to figure out how to comply with it.

    Enough of the hyperbole. This sort of proposal is begging for a cost-benefit analysis, not another recycled political rant (although I would like to thank everyone for recycling.)

  • avatar
    Ferrygeist

    Wait a minute, everyone’s mad at CARB for the wrong reasons. They’re twice the idiots we imagine, for, god forbid, if they were to look beyond the ends of their mission-statement noses–if they were thinking about environmental health in the greater, more wholisitc context–they would realize that black cars are GOOD because they absorb more solar radiation, which means less solar radiation reflected back into the atmosphere which would in effect be double jeopardy for the ozone layer, since it would be subjected to heating not once but twice, and therefor speed global warming, rising ocean levels, and the disappearance of California as it’s swallowed up by the Pacific (with a helpful 8.0 temblor or two just for fun). Nevada: get ready for your oceanfront property. Pahrump never looked so good!

    I mean, like duh. Obviously.

  • avatar
    AWD-03

    Holy Crap RASTMUS!!! I am seriously getting a kick out of your replies. I am not flaming you here, just questioning why you are going all militia on us here.

    The government governs through law. They make and enforce these laws. If enough voters raise their voices, law change back. Preaching that government is evil is saying that anarchy is a good way to run a state or country.

    Now to the issue at hand so my post doesn’t get deleted by the authorities…

    In this case enough scientists have said increased CO2 levels = bad. Government responds by creating/using a task force to come up with ways to cut back C02. No big conspiracy here.

  • avatar
    JTParts

    @ Aietu:

    The “How Many Legislators Does it Take to Change a Lightbulb Act” would ban incandescent lightbulbs by 2012 in favor of energy-saving compact fluorescent lightbulbs.

  • avatar
    qfrog

    Ok, but what color will unmarked government cars be if those too must reflect X amount of whatever wavelength(s) of light. Will this make it easier to spot unmarked police cars (and spooks too)?

    I happen to like the murdered look on some cars, other cars it should requisite to conceal the peculiar and out of unnecessary styling elements.

    Why don’t they just mandate that we all carry a Tyvek car cover to be installed whenever the car is parked for more than some arbitrarily short period of time.

    While we’re on this save energy trip… how does this change in surface reflectivity alter how quickly a car warms up inside or how warm it stays in the coldest of cold. Any chance that could alter some of the energy saving benefits to be reaped when it is hot out?

  • avatar
    no_slushbox

    re: 50merc:

    “Federalism is dead except in flyover country.”

    You do realize that Federalism, in the sense that conservatives now use it (which would historically actually be considered anit-federalist) means strong states’ rights, don’t you?

    You realize that what this post is talking about is a state law, right?

    Federalism means rights for states, not rights for people.

    Yes, the Federal Government could use the Commerce Clause to preempt CARB, but that would be an exception to Federalism, not an example of it.

  • avatar
    no_slushbox

    New Federalism: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Federalism

  • avatar
    JTParts

    PCH101 your straw man arguments about seat belts and safety glass only show your lack of understanding of the issue. This is not a safety issue, this is not a case, as in laminated glass, where there is clearly a superior replacement available. This is a case of a government forcing an agenda based on unproven assumptions on the people. You may enjoy being told what to do or may even have some need for that, I do not.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    This is not a safety issue

    It’s a sustainability issue, which addresses the long term safety of the planet. Maybe you don’t believe that climate change is an issue, but most informed people do recognize the potential risks and are attempting to mitigate them.

    this is not a case, as in laminated glass, where there is clearly a superior replacement available.

    The point is to develop a replacement, just as it was necessary to make changes in order to meet the gas standards. Set a goal, then reach it.

    Either the proposal has some merits or it doesn’t. Most people on this thread are resorting to political drama, instead of addressing whether this might actually work, and if so, at what cost.

    Turning this into a right-wing stump speech is just avoiding the substance of the question. Engineering and cost-benefit are what are relevant here.

  • avatar
    geeber

    BDB: I’d just like to be able to debate the actual proposal (not the strawman version) in a politically neutral way. But it seems the possibility for that on this thread has passed.

    It boils down to the appearance of micromanaging, which is never good for any government or regulatory body. Regulations that are too minute or seen as silly cause a backlash.

    The speed limit example is instructive. The 55 mph and 65 mph speed limits seriously discredited traffic enforcement efforts and made even regular, upstanding middle Americans look at government regulations with a jaundiced eye. Their primary contributions were the development of the radar detector and increased sales of CB radios. To this day, most people ignore speed limits on limited access highways, because they believe that they have no relation to safety, or were set to raise revenue.

    Another thing we forget is that bureaucrats and politicians are like everyone else. Which means that they have a tendency to push too far, or keep going down the same track, long after they should have switched directions.

    Unions will push for more pay and benefits even though they put the parent company in an uncompetitive position.

    CEOs will reach for ever-higher pay and bonuses even when they can no longer conceivably spend all of that money in one lifetime.

    Detroit product planners and executives will tool up for more SUVs or crossovers or entry-level luxury sedans even though any TTAC reader could tell that the market for said vehicle was saturated last year.

    Bureaucrats and politicans aren’t any different…

  • avatar

    white roofs (including cars), roads, etc could go a long way towards cooling cities. see
    http://eetd.lbl.gov/HeatIsland/PUBS/PAINTING/

    from Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory

  • avatar
    BDB

    BTW, its not like the paint job of cars isn’t regulated by the government already.

    Try to paint your Crown Vic like your local police cruiser, and see what happens.

  • avatar
    Areitu

    Something else I just remembered…Remember that whole R-12 and R-134 debate? And leaded gas? I remember when they still sold the stuff.

    JTParts :
    March 26th, 2009 at 1:11 pm

    @ Aietu:

    The “How Many Legislators Does it Take to Change a Lightbulb Act” would ban incandescent lightbulbs by 2012 in favor of energy-saving compact fluorescent lightbulbs.

    I imagine it wouldn’t be a total ban, just disincentive for businesses to use them. Special interest groups might find reason to keep incandescent around. For example, some autistic kids can’t handle the way CFLs flicker (120 times a second). LED lighting is getting much better and it’s much closer to incandescent than CFLs ever will be.

    Rastus : How should we operate then?

  • avatar
    Arminius

    I am also reassured that CA has it’s budget priorites right by firing teachers, POs, & FD in order to ensure that the CARB remains well funded.

  • avatar

    Such a silly/sad place, the Peoples’ Republic of Cali.

  • avatar
    geeber

    BDB: Try to paint your Crown Vic like your local police cruiser, and see what happens.

    It’s my understanding that you can paint it the same color, you just cannot use the stickers used by the police department, or even put the word “POLICE” anywhere on the car. I believe that is the way it is in Pennsylvania.

    Here most police cars are white or silver with stickers identifying the police department. If the used police cars are sold at auction, the color remains the same, but the stickers are removed (and cannot be re-applied).

  • avatar
    no_slushbox

    Re: BDB

    Actually, I lost my faith in California when its courts took away a woman’s freedom to drive around in a car painted like this:

    http://nynerd.com/the-case-of-the-pubis-vw-bug/#comments

    [NSFW]

  • avatar
    BDB

    Slushbox–

    HA! Trust me that’d be outlawed here in Virginia, too! They tried to ban truck nuts here for God’s sake.

  • avatar
    superbadd75

    My silver vehicle with black leather doesn’t get nearly as hot as my dark blue one with black cloth used to (both Chevy Trailblazers). Therefore, it also cools off a lot faster. My blue one even had tinted windows on the front doors, my silver one does not. Exterior color sure seems to have an effect on how hot the car gets, as far as i can tell.

  • avatar
    NickR

    At risk of being pilloried and/or ridiculed, this does make some sense to me. In fact, the idea occurred to me during my one and only ownership of a black vehicle. I don’t like to restrict people’s freedom of choice, but I don’t see not permitting black cars as being a huge assault on people’s rights. I mean, I like orange cars and they are only rarely available.

    I know there are other things that the pols and ‘crats could be focussing on, however, if it produces a positive outcome and can be implemented easily…*shrugs* why not.

  • avatar
    chuckR

    Pch101

    I will agree that this is at least a potentially significant economic/efficiency issue. However, based on their beclowning themselves with the 90′s electric car mandate, CARB doesn’t rate highly with me as an effective organization. King Canute showed his courtiers that he couldn’t command the sea. CARB, OTOH, hadn’t learned the limits of their power.

    Their piffle pdf raises more questions than it answers and looks to be a poorly thought out and incomplete document. C- might be too high a grade if they were in engineering academia. Third try here, if the paint provides, per CARB’s own assumptions (which of course might be wrong), only 1/8th the overall benefit, then is it more effective to try something else? You shouldn’t need a multimillion dollar study to determine cost effective alternatives. One might actually be that paint, but CARB themselves don’t seem to think so. Wonder if PPG or Dupont lobbies them?

    By all means, look at the proposal based on its own merits; few of which are in evidence in that pdf. Again, CA has some of the finest engineering schools in the world. CARB should let them design an effective set of tests on candidate fixes. Or is this a matter of ‘engineers should be on tap, not on top’? Hmmmm?

  • avatar
    paris-dakar

    And the fruitcakes who run California now run the entire Country. God Bless our Representative Democracy!

  • avatar
    Thinx

    I have no problem with this if the following legislation is also adopted: EVERY bureaucrat who sucks off the public teat is paid from public funds must wear a dunce cap every time they go out in public. It is the least that I could ask for.

  • avatar
    Colinpolyps

    Sajeev:
    Padded vinyl roofs and wide white wall tires. That was a double Cleveland back in the 70′s ( white shoes and white belt w leisure suit) The essence of cool man.

  • avatar
    BDB

    You want soldiers, police officers, and firefighters to wear a dunce cap to work everyday Thinx?

  • avatar
    cgage

    They may be banning black cars, but will they ban black helicopters?

    /twilight zone theme

  • avatar
    TomAnderson

    You guys are missing the best part of all of this:
    CARB’s directors are appointed, not elected and therefore unaccountable.

    Did I mention I love living in the glorious People’s Democratic Republic of California?

  • avatar
    taxman100

    Will the last employed, productive person who leaves California please turn out the lights?

    Oh wait, there are no lights – they’ve been banned!

    The same police state mindset is now in charge in Washington – you voted for change, and now we have environmentalism as the new communism, a perfect cover for the takeover of your entire life!

  • avatar
    rpn453

    Isn’t a black Prius or Yaris less environmentally destructive than a white truck or SUV? Why would anyone propose such a silly change when there are much bigger gains to be made elsewhere?

    “It is the price of fuel which either “saves” it…or which “wastes” it.” Well said, Rastus.

  • avatar
    N85523

    According to the file, all of this effort would reduced CA’s CO2 emissions by 300,000 metric tonnes in 2040. This is a minuscule volume. Anybody care to guess how many metric tonnes of carbon dioxide Mount Redoubt emitted into the Alaskan skies today?

  • avatar
    A is A

    Yup, black cars are hotter.

    A Spanish car magazine made a test in the 1980s. A black Ford Fiesta with open windows was hotter than a white Fiesta with closed ones.

    But there is more: Black cars are less conspicuous against black tarmac, so there´s a 12% increase in the likelihood of being in a crash.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Car_safety#Conspicuity

    Definitely, to paint a car Black makes no sense from a technical point of view.

    You can check this from a bridge over a motorway: Dark cars are more difficult to see than light coloured ones. Light coloured ones with running ligths are the easier to see.

    Black paint functions as “camouflage” with black tarmac. The last thing you want in a car is to be camouflaged. Visibility is to see AND to be noticed by other users of the road.

    But the Socialist Republic of Kalifornia should not force its inmates to do “the right thing”. Freedom includes the freedom of doing not-so-intelligent things as owning a black (or dark) car.

  • avatar
    50merc

    no_slushbox: “Federalism means rights for states, not rights for people.”

    Well, not exactly. More like some jobs are for the states while some are for the federal government. But I know what you mean. The point is that CARB’s AGW firebell-ringing is now–with many automakers’ acquiescence–on Monroney stickers all over the country. If, say, Alaska pressed to have the message “open our oil lands to drilling” added to the federally-mandated price sticker everywhere, California would have a stroke. So un-PC.

  • avatar
    chuckR

    And in South Florida, silver cars are invisible in thunderstorms. And in northern states, white cars are invisible in blizzards, so lets make silver cars illegal in Florida, white cars illegal in Wisconsin and black cars illegal in California. Or is it silver cars in Wisconsin, black cars in Florida and – oh the hell with it.

    But, there oughta be a law! There always oughta be a law, whether it makes sense or not. Our overlords always know whats best. For all of us.

    Thank you.

  • avatar
    oldyak

    remember,California is not a state,its a state of mind!
    Kick the out of this ‘state of mind’ with your votes!
    I guess one thing California wont have to regulate is…BALLS
    since the spineless voters that put up with this lay down and play dead!
    California…I say we give it back to Mexico!

  • avatar
    quasimondo

    Hey, you folks wanted California to take the lead in setting our nation’s policy for regulating greenhouse gases.

    Be careful what you ask for…

  • avatar
    qfrog

    Another thought… I apologize for botching the wording in that last post. While I suppose it isn’t a problem for California (do they get winter there or has it been outlawed too) but what about remote starters? Don’t some vehicle manufacturers even install these as OE? Isn’t this literally the anti-christ of fuel economy. A device that when installed and is operating properly encourages the user to start their car and let it idle. That is if I’m not mistaken achieving ZERO miles per gallon. Who cares about that sort of wasteful burning of fuel for the sake of warming or cooling one’s car in the name of comfort. Lets obsess over paint reflectivity, that’s the ticket.

  • avatar
    brush

    To paraphrase a recent movie:
    “Governments should not be afraid of the people. People should be afraid of the Government.”

    The original from V for Vendetta
    “People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people“

  • avatar
    chuckR

    In heaven, there will be no laws and the lion will lie down with the lamb. In hell, there will be only laws, and due process will be scrupulously observed.

    Forgot who said that, but I like it.

    And California is on the road to hell.

  • avatar
    Ingvar

    That quote from V for Vendetta reminds me, for no apparent reason of all, of Bertold Brechts poem “The Solution”:

    After the uprising of the 17th of June
    The Secretary of the Writers Union
    Had leaflets distributed in the Stalinallee
    Stating that the people
    Had thrown away the confidence of the government
    And could win it back only
    By redoubled efforts. Would it not be easier
    In that case for the government
    To dissolve the people
    And elect another?

  • avatar
    jthorner

    “And it hastens a world where cars no longer reflect the diversity of our culture and aspirations.”

    Perhaps someone can explain to me why the CURRENT pallet of available new car colors is so limited. Most lineups sport several shades of silver-grey, several beiges, one or two blues and token white, black and red versions.

    Look at a set of color chips from the 1950s and you will see just how homogeneous and boring today’s car color pallet already is!

    Also, the exterior color of a car does indeed make a big difference in how hot the interior gets when it is parked, especially if the car has a large roof like a station wagon or minivan does. There is precious little thermal insulation between the exterior and the interior of most cars.

  • avatar
    Areitu

    After more comments, I’m a little disheartened by the B&B on this particular matter. I would have expected more people to read the proposal. That said, I’d like to direct your collective attention to page 11, lines 4 and 5.

    JTParts :
    March 26th, 2009 at 1:11 pm

    @ Aietu:

    The “How Many Legislators Does it Take to Change a Lightbulb Act” would ban incandescent lightbulbs by 2012 in favor of energy-saving compact fluorescent lightbulbs. Wow, I thought you were kidding about the name of that bill! I’ll keep this in mind and start a black market for incandescent bulbs in 2012 and remember not to vote for that guy during the next round of elections.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    I keep looking for the section of the report that talks about banning black cars. I’ll be damned, but I couldn’t find it.

    What I did see is a reference for a need for R&D with respect to the “jet black” color, because it doesn’t currently meet the proposed standard. The automakers would have until 2016 to get there.

    By all means, look at the proposal based on its own merits; few of which are in evidence in that pdf.

    If taken at face value, I see low bang for relatively low bucks. You don’t get much, but it doesn’t cost much or take much to comply with it, either. My guess is that they are lowballing the costs and highballing the benefit, but it may still make some sense.

  • avatar
    chuckR

    Pch101

    I share your suspicion that they are lowballing costs and highballing benefits. Best to test, and it isn’t necessarily a high cost or long term test series.

    areitu

    see also page 21 of the proposal, especially the last bullet item

  • avatar
    kurtamaxxguy

    The PDF suggests a lot of options are being considered, and nowhere does it say that black vehicles will be banned.

    Info on page 10 suggests that by 2016, if 44% Rds windshield performance can be achieved, paint requirements can be eliminated. Also, maintaining a paint requirement spurs innovation and research for reflective paint.

    The only color with issues is Jet Black. I assume this black has some gloss to it (on basis of color, matte black would be the greatest paint-based heat absorber).

    The 45 day comment period begins May 11, and the board hearing is on June 25.

  • avatar
    holydonut

    I think we’ll soon see that “privacy glass” in use for automobiles. It’s basically glass that is opaque until you charge it with electric current. This causes the metallic items in the glass to align so you can see through the glass. I think it’d work great on side windows and maybe even the back glass.

    Of course if your electronics fail then you’ll be staring at an opaque glass, so i doubt it’ll ever catch on for the front.

  • avatar
    Areitu

    chuckR : You know that is actually an extremely sigificant change when you consider the aggregate effect of such a change?

  • avatar
    vanderaj

    Owning a black car is a one time thing. I’ve done it once, and never again.

    Too hard to keep clean in any season. My VW Rabbit got dirty driving back from my apartment block’s car wash area (about a distance of 100 m).

    Black paint shows every little swirl and imperfection. Most VW paintjobs are pretty good when compared to their contemporaries. Black shows every imperfection, every piece of orange peel. Sure you can get the car color sanded… it’s going to look good … until you wash the car the next time.

    If you don’t carefully empty and wash the bucket every time you put the microfibre cloth in, you *WILL* get swirls and marks. I spent way too much time fretting about the tiniest details when cleaning this car.

    I don’t care if the one or two B&B above who thinks that black cars are not hotter, well, my Rabbit was definitely the hottest (at rest) car I’ve ever owned, and Maryland is not a hot location compared to Australia. It was 47.9 C (118 F) the first Saturday after we got back.

    I think what CARB is asking car manufacturers to do is what Australia is asking the roof tile industry to do : change the tiles’ composition to reflect more heat. There’s a huge difference between surfaces made to absorb heat (say water heating panels) and near infrared reflective tiles, even though both are black.

    If they can find a car paint formulation that does bounce back more of the near infrared and still be “black”, there still can be dark colored cars. Just expect to pay more for them than lighter colored cars.

    thanks,
    Andrew

  • avatar

    automatically dislike anything Jimmy Carter said

    Not dislike. Distrust. Like is an opinion. Distrust is formed by factual experience. Other than the basic value that any human being has, Jimmy Carter is worthless protoplasm and an evil, hateful, sanctimonious, self-promoting excuse for a person. He’s an oxygen thief.

    I don’t regret voting for Bill Clinton, though I currently disagree with his politics. I do regret voting for Jimmy Carter. The world would be a much better place today if Gerald Ford had won.

    In any case, I’m sure that the overpaid (with generous benefits and pensions) and entitled government bureaucrats who make up CARB never bothered to consult with paint chemists and engineers before they came up with this nonsense. The majority of the painted surfaces of a car have nothing to do with interior temperature. Only the doors and roof could conceivably heat the interior, and CARB’s own proposals make it clear that transmittance of light through the car’s glass is a far more significant source of heat.

    My guess is that DuPont, who supplies the plastic film laminated into windshields and backlights to make them safety glass, and into side glass to make it quieter, will cook up something comparable to the films used in architectural glass, and make the glass more reflective because that will be cheaper than changing the paint chemistry.

  • avatar

    I worked in a paint lab. Gloss has less to do with energy absorption than the base color. It might marginally affect energy absorption at oblique angles, but color is still a much bigger factor.

    CARB has no clue about paint chemistry. There are so many performance demands on modern car paint that as good as it is, and it is very very good compared to even 20 years ago, they still are very close to the performance envelope. Mandating additives that make the paint reflect more sunlight will make it hard for all that other chemistry to work. It’s just one more thing that can go wrong. The additives are also ghastly expensive. Automotive paint already costs hundreds of dollars a gallon, with specialty paints running into the thousands. Some of that is expensive pigments but a significant amount of the cost is in UV screeners and other performance additives. I don’t know if you saw the story about it or not, but because the ZR1 Corvette has so much exterior carbon fiber trim, and because carbon fiber breaks down under UV light, GM is using some kind of UV screener in the clear coat on those parts that costs something like $60K a gallon.

    Does CARB care about the cost? Asking professional environmental activists like CARB members (as opposed to actual environmental engineers) to consider cost benefit analysis is like asking a Christian to deny Jesus or a Muslim to eat pork, it’s heresy.

  • avatar
    chuckR

    areitu

    CARB has done some work on, and presented numbers on, two ideas – paint and windows. Window changes are 7x as effective as paint, if they are to be believed. Where are the similar numbers on alternatives, those they mention in passing and those unmentioned? The presentation is poor; it looks to me like they’ve selected what they are interested in and given short shrift to what they aren’t interested in.

  • avatar
    guyincognito

    I for one look forward to my CARB overlords and a steady diet of government issued shmeat.

  • avatar
    Geotpf

    I have lived in Riverside, California all my life.

    If it wasn’t for CARB’s nazism, the air here would be so thick with pollution you could cut it with a knife and eat it. All the pollution from Los Angeles blows here from ocean breezes and settles. The air quality has been noticably better since the 1980′s, and this is directly due to heavy CARB regulation. CARB regulation has probably saved tens of thousand of lives, if not more.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    The presentation is poor; it looks to me like they’ve selected what they are interested in and given short shrift to what they aren’t interested in.

    The presentation is reasonable. It deals with a specific issue and a proposed specific remedy for that issue. It summarizes their findings so that those submitting comments and questions can understand the position.

    Alternatives are irrelevant to the discussion. This is not an either-or situation or a ranking; it’s dealing with the surface areas of vehicles, which means paint and glass are the relevant areas for consideration.

    The issue is whether this specific proposal accomplishes what it is supposed to. Either this proposal accomplishes X benefit at Y cost, or else it doesn’t.

  • avatar
    JTParts

    @Areitu

    Sorry I misspelled your name :(

  • avatar
    cindy

    Why stop at black- how about dark charcoal, dark blue – heck any color other than pastels and white.

  • avatar
    cindy

    The truth it a car burns more fuel driving with windows down than using AC,

    http://www.xmodx.com/guides/air-conditioning-does-it-really-burn-gas/

  • avatar
    AZHOT

    @JT:

    Case NOT closed. If it’s so hot that leaving the windows down won’t provide sufficient comfort, then people will run the air conditioner full time, regardless of how well insulated the cabin is. Also, air conditioning is as much about dehumidification as it is about cooling. Having lived in Southern CA most of my life, and the past 6 years in Phoenix, I can tell you that my climate-control habits are identical anywhere. In fact, if the outside temperature is too cool to warrant full-on air conditioning, I just turn up the temperature knob on the dash until I’m comfortable, leaving the AC on. Warm AND dry.

    JB


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