The California Air Resources Board recently passed another mandate for auto manufacturers selling vehicles in California. As of 2014, all vehicles sold in California will be required to have windshields which reflect the sun. The windows would have a metallic coating, a window technology said to be in use for some 20 years now.
The board passed the mandate in hopes of not only reducing greenhouse gas emissions but also improving fuel efficiency. By using the sun-reflecting windows, vehicles will maintain a cooler temperature and therefore drivers will use less air conditioning. Apparently the windows are able to keep sedan interiors 14 degrees Fahrenheit cooler, while keeping a truck or SUV about 12 degrees cooler.
As of 2012, one-quarter of vehicles sold in the state of California will require the sun-reflecting windshields. These windshields must block fifty percent of the sun’s heat when a car is parked. By 2014, all vehicles will be required to have such windshields.
Starting in 2016, all vehicles will be required to block sixty percent of the sun’s heat. However, car manufacturers will be allowed to compensate for the temperature control in some other way, as long as it meets the increased standard.
According to statistics involved in the decision, the windshield change will prevent 700,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide from being emitted in the year 2020. This is equal to removing 140,000 vehicles from the road all year. However, this is just a drop in the bucket when you consider the 22 million vehicles in California.
Some are concerned that the metallic coating on the windshields will interfere with the working of cell phones, GPS and toll road electronic passes. However, the windshields are going to have a small area in which the metallic coating is not placed. This is expected to alleviate the problem, although many are still skeptical.