California Banning Black Cars?

Novitec Rosso Ferrari F430

Ok, so the title is a little misleading… And I wish this was a bad April’s Fools Day joke, but alas, it is not. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has its sights set on the underpowered and overworked climate control systems of dark colored cars. In its recent public workshop CARB made a presentation entitled Cool Cars Standards and Test Procedures. As we all know, the darker the color, the more heat that a car attracts.

The mandate that has been proposed is that automotive manufacturers use paint that is 20% solar reflective by the year 2016. That sounds like a long way off, but there is a potential phase-in starting in the year 2012, with OEMs bringing over one-third of their color palette. If Nostradamus and the Inca and Mayan prophecies are correct, we will probably be more concerned with 300 foot tidal waves, meteors crashing into major cities and magnetic poles reversing than with that dang non-reflective paint job on your Civic.

Novitec Rosso Ferrari F430

So, what’s the deal with black paint? The issue is that the process of making black paint reflective is proving difficult to accomplish while still maintaining the integrity of its color. In addition to paint, backlights, sunroofs and windshield glazings are also designated for reflective coating starting in 2012. The worst part about this that CARB is taking this mandate from the context of building regulations and slapping it on the car industry. All I can say is that if they can’t get this reflectivity issue resolved for black paint I, for one, will be extremely upset. What color is the car I drive now you ask? Black. And before that? A black truck. And before that? A black motorcycle. Does anyone see a trend here? I’m already planning the move…

Source: CARB | Wards | Images: Novitec Rosso