Black cars, so the California legislature surmises, are hard on the environment. Before long, word leaked out that California would ban the black auto. Is that really true? Well, it depends on your definition of black.
Black Cars versus Cool Cars
The State of California was not so busy with the housing crisis or the imploding state budget that it could not find a bit of time to pass the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006. One of the stipulations was the identification and implementation of cool paints by January 1, 2010.
Cool cars, as opposed to the standard black auto, are those which have a paint job that will reflect a good deal of sunlight to lower the heat in the interior of the vehicle when parked. As you might imagine, black cars – or any other color car – parked in the California sun double as ovens quite nicely.
The California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 reasons that a less hot car interior translates into less likelihood by the driver to engage the air conditioner. Less AC leads to less carbon dioxide that is released into the air.
A Call to Save the Black Auto?
It did not take long for Rush Limbaugh – and pretty soon any news outlet around the state – to pick up on what the former termed the ban on black cars. Putting his trademark spin on the issue, he soon speaks of California not only banning black cars, but actually mandating white automobiles.
In an effort to set the record straight, the spokesperson for the California Air Resources Board discussed what had now become known as the California black cars ban with News 10, ABC and assured viewers that there really was no plan to ban black cars. He went on to state that California had backed off the reflective paint issue until black paint can indeed be made more reflective.
What are the Odds of the Black Auto being more Reflective?
This depends entirely on your definition of black. The Cool Paints May 15, 2008, workshop presentation (slide 5) suggests that an increased solar reflectance is indeed possible. The cost for a black auto that is painted with reflective paint is also quite reasonable. A March 12, 2009, Cool Cars presentation (slide 17) estimates the cost at no more than $70 per car. Add to this that it would be good for the planet, and how could you go wrong?
Jet Black Problematic When It Comes To Being Made Reflective
Slide 8 of the 2009 presentation reveals that while other colors seem to hum along nicely in being made more reflective, black cars painted in jet black are a problem. Auto Blog Green reveals that paint shops experimenting with the emissions friendly black color refer to the result as “mud-puddle brown.”
While it may be wrong to say that California plans to ban black cars, it may be possible that at some point in the future the Golden State may seek to adjust your understanding of the color black.
http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/05-06/bill/asm/ab_0001-0050/ab_32_bill_20060927_chaptered.pdf; http://www.arb.ca.gov/cc/cool-paints/cool-paints.htm; http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/home/daily/site_032609/content/01125110.guest.html; http://www.news10.net/news/local/story.aspx?storyid=56925; http://www.arb.ca.gov/cc/cool-paints/cool-paints_workshop_presentation_may15.pdf; http://www.arb.ca.gov/cc/cool-paints/final_cool_cars_workshop_presentation31209.pdf; http://www.arb.ca.gov/cc/cool-paints/final_cool_cars_workshop_presentation31209.pdf; http://www.autobloggreen.com/2009/03/25/california-to-reduce-carbon-emissions-by-banning-black-cars/