By on March 28, 2010

Remember how the California Air Resources Board was contemplating banning black cars because air conditioning uses so much C02 (or not)? Well, the madness is over, as The Detroit News reports that California’s proposed “Cool Car” rules are dead. What killed them (besides common sense and the laws of diminishing returns)? Law enforcement, for one, which warned that

the new standards, requiring window glazing to keep car interiors cool, could degrade signals from cell phones and ankle monitoring bracelets worn by felons in rural or mountainous areas.

But don’t think that the CARB will just ignore the .7 million metric tons per year of C02 (by 2020) that they weren’t able to eliminate. According to a statement by the board’s executive officer,
Instead, the Board will pursue a performance-based approach as part of its vehicle climate change program to reduce CO2 from air conditioning and provide cooler car interiors for California motorist
And what, pray, does that mean? Spokesman Stanley Young tells the LA Times that OEMs auto will still have to meet a standard for a specific drop in the interior temperature of vehicles
but they are free to draw on any technology to achieve it. This could be through advanced windows that keep the sun’s heat out, but also heat-reflecting paints, different upholstery, or even fans that circulate air and keep the car cool while it is standing in the sun.
Costs for the abandoned standard were estimated to cost manufacturers between $39 and $128 per vehicle, and it’s interesting that increased cost apparently wasn’t a factor in the decision to walk away from “cool cars” rules. Will the “performance-based” standard help control those costs? Meanwhile, will folks in climates where air conditioning isn’t widely used have to pay for the cost of California compliance as well? CARB helped push national emissions standards forward, and clearly relishes its role as the rogue-agent vanguard of vehicle regulation, so don’t expect cool-car standards to simply disappear.
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42 Comments on “California Cool Car Rules Dropped...”


  • avatar
    rcdickey

    The looney left never sleeps!

    • 0 avatar
      rcdickey

      LMAO, exactly the responses I expected.

    • 0 avatar
      imag

      Yeah, remember how certain online automotive publications freaked out and posted sensationalist headlines because a government body tasked with reducing air pollution was “contemplating” (not implementing) ways to reduce air pollution?

      And now, that same online automotive publication, and many of its commentators, are blaming their own sensationalizing on the air resources board, rather than looking in the mirror at the problem.

      CARB is *supposed* to contemplate ways to reduce air pollution. They did. They got feedback that the means were unfeasible. They shelved them. The process worked.

      You guys are the ones who are running around like Chicken Little, claiming that people are going to take your pretty cars away, then claiming that the people doing research were engaged in “madness”.

      Contemplation is not madness. Thinking is a good thing. Dissent is part of a good thought and vetting process.

      The loony right seems to think that the only good decisions are knee-jerk reactions and platitudes, and that any thought process is broken by virtue of it being a thought process. I thought TTAC was better than that.

  • avatar
    NulloModo

    I hope that this doesn’t lead to an end in black leather interiors. Living in FL I know how hot that black leather gets during the day, and I’ve had times where the steering wheel has been too hot to touch until the ac vents cooled it down, but it looks good and doesn’t show wear nearly as bad as light leather. It’s annoying that automakers are already going to neutral colored headliners no matter the color of the rest of the interior, but I don’t want to lose options for what kind of seats I have because California fancies itself having the authority to mandate policy on a national level.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    Remember how the California Air Resources Board was contemplating banning black cars because air conditioning uses so much C02 (or not)?

    While it made great headlines to say that California was banning black cars, that wasn’t what they were doing. They were mandating reflectivity on the grounds that, yes, having a car that’s not a heat-soak does help the car stay cool, requires less AC use, and accordingly less fuel.

    Bait alert: I know the right-wing really resents being told be responsible and, oh, I don’t know, think a little, but this wasn’t at all a bad idea. California has a lot of people, a lot of cars, and a serious energy use problem: chopping fuel use by even a percent or two would go a long way, especially leveraged over tens of millions of people.

    It’s also worth noting that California has to confront issues of climate, population and geography that rural red-states will never, ever see. It’s all well and good to armchair-quarterback from Podunk, but realize that things are a little different in LA.

    • 0 avatar
      John Horner

      Well said, +1 !

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      The problem is that the reflectivity that would have been mandated would have made it impossible (at least according to the auto paint makers) to make a truly black car, the closest you could get was sort of a dark mottled gray.

      I’m far from right wing, I believe we should model our healthcare system after Canada’s and that gay marriage, abortions and marijuana should all be (or remain) legal, I will, however, call out anyone who tries to tie acceptance of the loss of freedom to irresponsibility.

      If I choose to buy a car that takes more fuel to keep cool I will shoulder the responsibility of having to pay for more fuel. Given how starved for income California is, those extra gallons and extra tax revenue would actually be beneficial.

      Yes, the challenges that face L.A. and CA in general are not necessarily the same as those faced by other cities and states, but that is even more reason to resent CA pushing legislation that they know good and well will effect the rest of us living in places that aren’t CA. At the end of the day the special circumstances can only count for so much. We’ve become a country too afraid of stepping on each others toes, willing to defer and back down and give up life’s pleasures at the remote chance of inconveniencing someone else.

      If L.A. has too much smog and you’re tired of your power going out then move someplace else. Yes you may take a paycut, and may have to deal with less idyllic weather, but you can’t have your cake and eat it to.

    • 0 avatar
      chuckR

      I’ll rise to the bait. Who is not being responsible?

      I look at this a different way than psarhjinian. Regarding the treated glass, you have one state organ, CARB, at odds with others, the penal people and the toll both trolls. Could you not devise an unobtrusive external device that would transmit the signals, just as old fashioned cell antennas did? Which I guess would solve your cell reception issue, too.

      At the time TTAC brought this up, it seemed that the paint was a lousy idea based on CARB’s own presentations – presentations thoughtfully dredged up by one of TTAC’s commenters. The treated glass was, IIRC, 7X as effective as the paint. The only paint likely to count is that attached directly to the passenger compartment – heat is not going to jump like magic across the hood and fender parting lines; ditto for the trunk. In a hot soak, the firewall and rear seats provide pretty decent insulation, too. Considering the view factors for radiation heat transfer, it looks like the roof is much more important than the doors and it might be worthwhile/cost-effective investigating a radiant barrier treatment or another type of insulating layer integrated with the headliner.

      Also, with reformulated paint there was the possibility that early versions would soon turn as leprous-looking as the first water-based low VOC paints were when they were introduced.

      Another half-assed government proposal. Shame about the glass idea, that may have had some promise. It would have been more responsible to have a better thought-out proposal.

    • 0 avatar
      cstoc

      OK, then let’s think a little. IIRC, the study CARB used to justify the law showed that for the vast majority of afternoon trips, i.e. commuters leaving work after 3pm or so, the new rules would have had no effect, as the car had already cooled to the desired. Also, they don’t account for people keeping their interior cooler by manually putting up sunshades.

      If they really wanted to reduce CO2 emissions from cars, they’d do something like synchronize traffic lights, or add more “left turn if safe” lights. Or get rid of the limited-access carpool lanes in SoCal (in favor of constant access lanes), so every lane of a freeway doesn’t slow to a crawl as carpoolers frantically make their way from the carpool lane to their exit.

      There’s so many things CARB could do that have a benefit commensurate with their cost. I don’t think this is one of them.

    • 0 avatar
      GeneralMalaise

      Enough with the vapid political hogwash, D.B. Cooper.

      -1

      You can’t champion personal responsibility when you promote just the opposite. If your side believed in it, it wouldn’t have the trial lawyers as its chief political contributor.

      Just cowboy up and forgo the AC.

    • 0 avatar
      Areitu

      Good to see someone else took the 5 minutes to read the powerpoint from CARB. It took a lot of spinning to turn that short blurb about black cars and reflectivity into “California bans black cars” and it’s very frustrating to see.

    • 0 avatar
      Len_A

      “I know the right-wing really resents being told be responsible and, oh, I don’t know, think a little”?? Spare me. I’m slightly left-of-center politically, and even I think this was a patently ridiculous idea. The political left comes up with as many dumb ideas as the right does, and each of them is guilty of reacting badly to each others ideas. I know that California, especially the LA Basin has geographical problems that increase their pollution problems, but I don’t live in California, and I don’t want my choices as a consume dictated by California, and I don’t want my investments, primarily in my retirement plan, adversely affected by their loony-tune suggestions.

  • avatar
    Patrickj

    Automotive air conditioning is probably the lowest-hanging fruit of fuel economy. Why should it take as much cooling capacity to cool a mid-size car as a 1200 square foot house in a warm climate such as Virginia?

    In both cases about 24,000 BTU/hr.

    Performance-based standards are a very good idea.

    • 0 avatar
      tced2

      Do you let your house reach 100deg and then expect cool down in minutes?
      Is your house painted black? Is your house surrounded on all sides (including the floors) by 100deg air?
      Autos have a large amount of solar gain (it’s called windows as in visibility for driving) compared to most homes. Inserting materials into the tint of the windows changes the solar gain – this is what the California folks were mandating – better reflecting materials to lower the solar gain.
      Expectations for auto air conditioning is higher than for homes.

    • 0 avatar
      Patrickj

      On the other hand, why does a car have to get hot enough to bake cookies in the time it takes to buy groceries? Ventilation on request, with solar power to reduce battery drain, would help with stops of a few hours or less. Starting from 100-110 degrees instead of 140 would be a big help.

      Cooled seats could also reduce the need for extremely high cooling capacity. The use of massive cooling capacity is just mindless, and has also been a big driver behind increased vehicle horsepower.

    • 0 avatar
      tced2

      You could just skip the air conditioning altogether. Sometimes the ambient temperature isn’t so comfortable.
      There are studies that have discovered that opening the windows induced more drag than keeping them closed – therefore the “cooling” ventilation must be done by air intakes/exhaust in the proper places for not causing drag.
      But the initial goal of lowering solar gain – through windows – and via absorption in the car color is and admirable one. That is the surface area of the car and reductions in receiving heat from solar sources via this route is the place to lower the load.

    • 0 avatar
      outdoorplaces

      The impact to overall MPG by air conditioning in a modern vehicle is negligible. In many vehicles the AC compressor is running constantly as part of the climate control system. The power robbing impact of running the AC is also a myth. This has been tackled in the laboratory and on shows like Myth Busters (who also proved that a light colored car isn’t all that much cooler than a dark colored car).

      I do agree that having a solar running vent system as an option would make sense, considering that Mazda had it as option back in the 1980s!

  • avatar
    newcarscostalot

    NulloModo:

    You state that you should be able to drive/purchase a car that may require more fuel to keep cool and take responsibility for paying for your gas. That statement does not address the pollution your hypothetical car would emit. I have just as much right to want your car and my car to emit less pollution so I can breath a little easier and hopefully have a better long term impact on the environment.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      You have the right to choose a car for yourself that emits less pollution, you have no right to choose anything about my car.

      Florida, though it has its faults, at least has no emissions checks or vehicle inspections. If I wanted, I could buy an old crown vic, shoehorn a bigass V8 under the hood, and remove all of the emissions equipment, yet still be able to register an drive it legally. I won’t do that because I’m not a total asshole and I don’t want to pollute for the sake of pollution, but I damn well do want the right to do it if for some reason I wake up and decide that is the route I want to go.

      We all share a common ecosystem, yes, and our personal decisions and choices can effect others, I agree. The trick is to finding how far is too far in giving up personal freedoms for the good of society as a whole. To me, giving up complete choice of the color of my car is way too far into the too much loss of freedom category.

    • 0 avatar
      newcarscostalot

      I still stand by my post. My point is this: Your right to drive a hypothetical polluting Crown Vic that affects me or the environment negatively does not trump my right to have you not drive said vehicle. Similarly, If your Crown Vic had straight pipes, by your logic, you should be able to sit in your driveway and rev it up anytime you want, because hey, no one is going to tell me what to do!. However, because what you are doing is negativity affecting others, my right to have you not do that is equally important.

    • 0 avatar
      newcarscostalot

      Just so I’m clear, it is not my intent to say who is right or wrong here concerning our posts. I am merely trying to demonstrate that each person has rights or wishes, and ones rights should be equally considered as anthers. Unless we’re talking about a car rental company that feels it has a right to give you a Chevy Aveo because its similar to Nissan Versa… :-D

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      I see a key difference in revving a car with straight pipes all hours of the night – there are already noise regulations that make that illegal. As it is, I choose to live in a state that doesn’t place too many restrictions on personal freedoms. I am not forced to recycle, I am not forced to have my vehicles emissions checked, and I’m not forbidden from smoking in an actual bar or casino. Moreover, I choose to live in a house rather than in a condo or an apartment, and in a non deed-restricted or HOA community, because I am unwilling to give up the freedom to watch a movie with the sound system turned up high at night, paint my home whatever color I see fit, or park my vehicle in the driveway as opposed to the garage.

      California, and the voters who live there, are free to enact whatever kind of regulations and restrictions upon themselves that they see fit, but the problem is that when it comes to the auto industry, the way California goes ultimately ends up having repercussions on those who are not willing to put up with the restrictions on daily life that come from living in the golden state.

      CARB has been responsible for a lack of diesel passenger cars in the US, for emissions systems have have kept plenty of European vehicles from being available here, and for cars like the Pontiac G8, which was pretty cool, not being cost effective to keep on the table.

      Since there are already federal guidelines for emissions standards I do not believe that California should have the right to enact legislation that effectively limits the choice in vehicles that the rest of the country would otherwise have.

    • 0 avatar
      newcarscostalot

      NullModo:

      Is a non deed-restricted community the same thing as living in an area that has a homeowners association that restricts certain activities? Just curious, as I had not heard that phrase before. Thnx!

    • 0 avatar
      Len_A

      I’m with NulloModo on this. People drive what they want, but mind their own business and stay out of my purchasing and driving decisions. Period. If they feel that my decision impacts them in a negative way, deal with it.

  • avatar
    Green Destiny

    Never finished engineering school, but it seems to me that the passenger compartment of a car would be heated more by radiant energy (i.e.,sunshine) passing through the glass in the greenhouse than by the color of the paint on the roof of said car. If I’m wrong, let ‘em mandate white vinyl tops on all cars and we’ll party like it’s 1979! :)

  • avatar
    carlisimo

    This is ridiculous because there were only CONCERNS that reflective window coatings might block cell phone and EZ Pass signals. No one actually said they had EVIDENCE of it, only fears and worries.

    (And yes, Green Destiny, they know the greenhouse is more important and that’s why they were considering mandating reflective window coatings.)

  • avatar
    MarcKyle64

    How about installing automatic solar powered cooling fans that vent that heat to the engine compartment? If the sun’s shining, then the fans are going!

    Continuing this line of thought, then why aren’t there rooftop solar panels to charge hybrids?

    I still like Volvo’s concept of a small flexfuel motor charging the hub mounted electric motors that will both spin and regenerate on braking. Check this You Tube video for more about that: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HJwQ18I0vgY

  • avatar
    outdoorplaces

    …CARB’s glazing standards also would have been incompatible with toll booth “EZ-pass” technology…

    It’s all about the Benjamins.

  • avatar

    Law enforcement, for one, which warned that

    the new standards, requiring window glazing to keep car interiors cool, could degrade signals from cell phones and ankle monitoring bracelets worn by felons in rural or mountainous areas.

    CARB’s glazing standards also would have been incompatible with toll booth “EZ-pass” technology

    Notice how CARB didn’t care when the public complained, but when government agencies said that the proposed rules would make it harder to keep non-public employees under control, and harder to generate income streams for those agencies and keep salaries and pensions of public employees generously high, well then CARB complied.

    CARB doesn’t care how taxpayers are affected, but if tax eaters feel the pain, well, that pain must be alleviated.

    We have two classes of Americans now. Those who create wealth, and those who live off of the wealth creators.

    CARB is completely unaccountable to the people of California. They can’t be voted out of office.

  • avatar
    stuart

    I live in CA, and I’m not a fan of CARB. However, CARB isn’t the entire problem here.

    The US EPA mandates various air quality metrics, and when a region/city/metro-area consistently violates them, that area gets special attention. CA has several such regions, including (IIUC) Riverside county (east of L.A.) and Sacramento.

    Basically, EPA says “Clean up or lose Federal dollars (or get fined)!” CARB is free to do whatever it wants, as long as it get results.

    For example: CA has its own special blend of gasoline (“CA Phase II RFG”) designed to lower smog. Of course it’s more expensive than the gasoline in most other states. CARB swears it keeps our air cleaner…

    IMHO the dark-paint-prohibition pales in comparison to the MTBE controversy. For years, EPA mandated oxygenated gasoline in smoggy areas. Alas, the science that validated oxygenated gas was done on 1970-era cars; when you burn oxygenated gas in a modern cars with an oxygen sensor, it notices the lean condition and “corrects” for it by richening the mixture. Bottom line: no change to smog, slightly lower mileage, higher costs to CA drivers, and big profits to MTBE producers. But that’s not all; when MTBE-laced gasoline leaks out of gasoline storage tanks, it contaminates drinking water (Google for “charnock mtbe”). The City of Santa Monica lost half of their drinking water wells to MTBE contamination. Regardless, CA was forced to oxygenate our gas for years. (This got rectified shortly after the last presidential election.)

    (True, ethanol is an equally good oxygenate, but it can’t be shipped via pipelines due to inevitable water contamination, and was deemed not feasible for this reason.)

    Even if CARB had gotten their way with paint colors, I doubt it would have bothered non-CA residents. The manufacturers would just limited paint colors for new cars sold in CA. Big deal.

    Bottom line: CARB may be evil, but they’re hardly the worst regulator out there. I’m all for clean air and water, but EPAs MTBE mandate had more to do with presidential politics than science. Regardless of its silliness, I see no politics in the proposed color regulations.

    stuart

  • avatar
    niky

    newcarscostalot
    newcarscostalot
    March 28th, 2010 at 7:35 pm

    I still stand by my post. My point is this: Your right to drive a hypothetical polluting Crown Vic that affects me or the environment negatively does not trump my right to have you not drive said vehicle. Similarly, If your Crown Vic had straight pipes, by your logic, you should be able to sit in your driveway and rev it up anytime you want, because hey, no one is going to tell me what to do!. However, because what you are doing is negativity affecting others, my right to have you not do that is equally important.

    Totalitarian much?

    Here’s the one point where your argument falls apart.

    Your right to live in a climate-controlled environment, sleep on a spring-mattress bed, watch television, surf the internet and to drive a motorized vehicle on asphalt laid by decades of heavy construction do not trump my right to breathe unpolluted air and drink unpolluted water in my hand-made hovel, from which I walk to work at my farm.

    To seek to regulate automobile use in the way they’re going about it nowadays misses one crucial point. Automobiles aren’t a necessity. (I know a lot of people here will react negatively to that, but bear me out). They’re a luxury and a luxury enabler. They allow you to live where you want to live and yet still work where you want to work. (“But I live so far from…” yes… you do… and you or your parents had the luxury of moving out there because of the advent of the automobile).

    In third-world countries, you see this distinction more clearly. People may sometimes live far from where higher-paying jobs are available. These people live by agriculture, hunting, fishing… they commute to work… on foot for hours a day… by bicycle when they make more money… by motorcycle once they’ve estabilished themselves at a job that pays actual money.

    Once you’re “there”, you buy a car. It’s the ultimate status symbol.

    And yet… you don’t necessarily need it. An entire family can ride on a scooter. If you live in a state or country that frowns on such practice, then you move to a house or apartment closer to where you work, or find work closer to home. Worst case scenario, buy a Geo Metro or a Ford Festiva.

    Sure, they don’t have the comforts or “safety” of newer, bigger cars, but the environmental footprint is smaller than 99% of what’s on the road.

    And yet, even before you take this last step, your net energy usage has already gone through the roof. Switching to a modern, western lifestyle and all the trappings that go with it mean that you utilize enough resources to feed, clothe and entertain yourself to feed entire third-world villages.

    BUT: you contribute to the economy in a meanignful way. You produce goods or services that others require. If you didn’t, you wouldn’t have the money to live in such a manner.

    -

    Yes, we have a responsibility… but we’ve earned our keep. And if you think you have the right to tell me I can’t drive my V8 while you get to keep your 40″ TV, your powerful (and power-hungry) PC, your air-conditioned house or apartment, your fertilized lawn and your car made with globally-sourced and shipped parts… well… I can’t help but feel that you’re being more than a bit unfair.

    And yet, not everyone drives around in a big V8. Why? Because it’s an economical burden, also… and a luxury. People will often vote with their wallets. When it becomes too expensive to own a big V8-powered car or SUV, then they downsize. If it becomes too expensive to own a personal car? They’ll downsize some more. Reducing the environmental impact of cars will come down to giving people more economical choices for travel… better public transport, safer and better defined cycling and motorbiking lanes, better urban planning, leading to city centers that mix appealing residential areas with employment opportunities.

    Yes, more efficient AC may be part of the solution… but a mandatory power rating system and better customer awareness can help drive AC efficiency up. By requiring new standards, you raise the cost to the manufacturers and ultimately, the end consumers… limiting their choices in purchase and the freedoms they’ve so rightfully earned by contributing to your economy and giving you the actual power to enact such legislations.

    • 0 avatar
      newcarscostalot

      niky:

      I think you get the point I was trying to make. Here it is: One persons right does not necessarily trump another persons, or the public at large. My previous posts, such as the one you cited, were an attempt to illustrate my point of view. I simply don’t choose to remain passive when one person, or a group of persons, feel that their choice/wish/right is more important than another persons. I do feel that compromise is important, and to quote spock, the good of the many outweigh the good of the few, or the one. :-) Also, a car is a privilege, not a right. In my humble opinion!

    • 0 avatar
      niky

      One person’s personal desires aren’t more important than another’s… but what you’re suggesting is that selectively penalizing those people for what you perceive to be an anti-social irresponsibilty is entirely sensible.

      Which, and this is my point, is hypocrisy. You already do a lot that is damaging to the environment. What do you drive? If you drive, eat, buy or consume anything produced by a modern, industrialized civilization, you are already consuming more than you theoretically “need” and are contributing more to environmental degradation than you “should”.

      The only way for humans to come close to being completely carbon-neutral is to subsist on a diet of berries and nuts and wild rodents and live in huts made from deadwood and dried switchgrass.

      Since nobody actually wants this, we do what we can… but to single out certain people for small luxuries when you’re also guilty of partaking in other luxuries is… again… hypocrisy.

    • 0 avatar
      newcarscostalot

      I agree. But I wasn’t making the point that NullModo should not be allowed to drive a certain type of vehicle, regardless of my reason. I simply was trying to illustrate that in most cases one persons right/wish is not more important than another persons. That’s it. Not who is right or wrong, but simply that each person has a right to present their view and be heard. Example: If you and I are in a taxi and you are smoking a cigarette, and I ask you to put it out because it makes it hard for me to breathe, whose right is more important? Your right to smoke, or mine to breathe? I don’t know, but each right should be given just as much consideration as the other.

    • 0 avatar
      niky

      Not a co-equal case. Your right to smoke in the car is about the same as my right to burn asbestos in the same car. Both have a direct and immediate effect on the other person, and neither of us would do that simply because it’s not polite.

      In this case, it’s more like we both live in a lake (say, we’re fish) and I’m pissing into it 1.15 times as often as you are. Yes… it’s not nice to pee where you sleep, but we’re both doing it. Everyone’s doing it. All human activity leads to CO2 production… and all human industry relies on the burning of some sort of fuel to some extent.

      I’m not absolving people of responsibility, but your original statement is that you have as much right to ask me to stop consuming as I have a right to consume. Which simply does not work. My ability to consume directly relates to my productivity, and for me to be more productive yet forced to consume less simply because others say so… well… that’s complete bunk.

      I have no more right of forcing you to abandon your entire first-world lifestyle than you have of forcing me to stop driving what I want to drive.

      You can have your fuel efficient cars whether I agree to drive one or not, simply because the upcoming scarcity of fuel and rising oil prices are forcing manufacturers and consumers to find new ways to cope. The Toyota Prius wasn’t invented by new economy rules… neither were diesels… they were just encouraged by it. Fuel efficient cars that can already get over 70 mpg are already being sold in poorer countries, where economic necessity forces people to buy the most economical car possible. This effect is now being felt in the US… where people are downsizing not because of any government rules or taxes (considering the incredibly huge, SUV-sized loophole in the guzzler tax) but because they are starting to feel the pinch, and there’s a recognition (finally) by Joe Average that overconsumption is harmful to your personal bottom-line.

  • avatar
    reclusive_in_nature

    If California wasn’t a part of the United States I’d take more pleasure in watching it self destruct. I’m sure the neighboring states are cheering them on though.

  • avatar
    BuzzDog

    “…the new standards…could degrade signals from cell phones and ankle monitoring bracelets…CARB’s glazing standards also would have been incompatible with toll booth “EZ-pass” technology…”

    There’s also a conflict with another Federally-regulated feature in most new vehicles: In addition to cell phones, toll tags and ankle monitors, heat-resistant glazing can interfere with the signals from certain tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS).

    Not to mention that many law enforcement agencies and older drivers hate dark glazing with a purple passion.

    Unfortunately, other alternatives – such as cooling fans and additional insulation – add weight and/or additional energy use, which leads one to wonder if the potential “savings” become a wash.

  • avatar
    panzerfaust

    Darn! And I was looking forward to seeing cars with white steering wheels, just like the CHP cars had in the old days.
    Next thing you know NTSB will have to to require airbags for these occasions when green legislation runs headlong into reality.

  • avatar
    AJ

    Reminds me to buy a black car next.

  • avatar
    MadHungarian

    Having owned similar black and white cars (both Town Cars) in the same climate (southeast GA) my experience is that the color of the car does not make a great deal of difference in use of the A/C — especially in an automatic temperature control system where it is very easy to leave it at one setting nearly all the time and never push that A/C OFF button. I have also found that at highway speeds there is about an 0.8 MPG penalty for A/C on versus A/C off (05 Town Car, windows closed both cases)

    The laws of thermodynamics say basically there is no free lunch. Thus, the energy I use to run the A/C, AND also the power steering, power seat (which slides back and forth every time I exit and enter the car), windows and locks has to come from somewhere. Up until the mid 60′s, you could buy Cadillacs that had manual seats, locks and windows and no A/C. Today, even the most ridiculous econocar is “fully loaded” by ’64 Cadillac standards. There must be a measurable economy benefit to a car with all manual controls versus the same machine with those things electrically operated, but you can’t sell it. I think even Volts and Leafs (Leaves?) have electric windows and seats, for heavens sake.

  • avatar
    bunkie

    I love the mud huts/modern argument. It’s a classic straw man. The fact is that technological advancement is the result of all sorts of stimulus. Bureaucratic rules have their place. Is there anyone here who can reasonably argue that we have not benefitted mightily from clean air legislation? And for car lovers, the major advantage has been the radical increase in efficiency a great part of which has led to cars with a lot more go.

    Nobody likes the short-term pain caused by conditions resulting from rules changes. Yes, low-VOC paint really sucked. So did the wheezing, emasculated engines of the mid to late 70s. But the ever-inventive human mind coupled with the profit motive have overcome these problems. So will it continue. In the end, so long as the debate is reasoned and we stay away from technology mandates (as opposed to goal-oriented approaches), it’s a necessary part of the process.


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  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
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