Cool Cars and Reflective Glazing
This page last reviewed January 20, 2011
A regulation to cut greenhouse gases by reducing heat gain in automobile interiors was approved by the Air Resources Board (ARB) to begin phasing in with the 2012 model year. The regulation required that passenger cars, pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles be equipped with windows that reduce the amount of heat that enters the vehicle from solar radiation. Less heat inside the vehicle would allow air conditioning units to be downsized or used less, thereby increasing fuel economy and reducing the amount of greenhouse gases emitted by the vehicle when it is in use.Under Board direction, staff is replacing this regulation with a performance standard currently under development. Staff estimates that when the regulation is fully phased in it will prevent 1 million metric tons of the greenhouse gas CO2 from being emitted into the air.
The regulation, requiring a 60 percent reduction in heat absorption through vehicle windows when fully implemented, was approved by the ARB Board on June 25, 2009. Starting in the 2016 model-year, it included provisions to use other solar reduction technologies to meet the requirements. This would allow manufacturers more flexibility in meeting the 60 percent reduction goal. This alternate approach is being developed to replace the originally-approved regulation.
This regulation was created as one of the compliance strategies for the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, also known as AB 32.
The Air Resources
Board’s report evaluating the electromagnetic interference due to
automotive reflective glazing as required under the Cool Cars
regulation is now available. The report provides the findings of a
test program to determine the impact reflective glazing has on certain
portable devices such as cell phones, global positioning systems (GPS)
and ankle monitoring bracelets. The results indicate that there are no
effects from reflective glazing, and thus the Cool Cars regulation, on
monitoring ankle bracelets or cell phone usage in an urban
environment. Effects on GPS navigation units were observed,
but these were completely eliminated by placing the device or an
external antenna within a ‘deletion window’, that is, a relatively
small section of the windshield manufactured without the reflective
EMFI Report (PDF 1.58MB)
The Air Resources Board’s staff has released a draft of the 15-Day document. This document can be downloaded here: Draft 15-Day (PDF 58 KB). Please email comments to Marijke Bekken, Lead Staff, with a copy to Sharon Lemieux, Manager, Emission Research Section. We request that comments be submitted by January 11, 2010. While we have built in some additional review time for holiday schedules, if you feel additional time is necessary, please contact Ms. Lemieux by phone at (626) 575-7067 or Dr. Bekken by phone at (775) 762-1771. Alternatively, you may contact them at the email addresses listed above.
The presentation made to the Electromagnetic Frequency Interference workgroup on October 14, 2009 has now been posted. This presentation provides a summary of the results of ARB's tests to evaluate the influence of reflective windows on GPS units, cell phones and GPS ankle bracelets. A full report detailing the results will be posted soon.
EMFI Test Results (PDF 1.75MB)
9/25/2009:ARB has posted the presentations made at the September 17 Cool Cars workshop by the participates, handout and list of participates in attendance and via conference line.
Transcore (PDF 2.78MB) Garmin (PDF 41KB) Sekisui (PDF 229KB) Sabic (PDF 7.00MB) Automobile Alliance (PDF 67KB)
Sign In List
Conference Line List
9/16/2009:ARB has posted the presentation and the updated agenda for the Public Workshop to Consider Development of a "Cool Cars" Performance-Based Test Procedure for 2016 and Subsequent Model Year Vehicles scheduled for September 17, 2009.
9/15/2009:The location for the Public Workshop to Consider Development of a "Cool Cars" Performance-Based Test Procedure for 2016 and Subsequent Model Year Vehicles scheduled for September 17, 2009 has changed. The directions are provided on the following link.
September 17 Workshop Location and Directions
9/1/2009:ARB has posted the agenda for the Public Workshop to Consider Development of a "Cool Cars" Performance-Based Test Procedure for 2016 and Subsequent Model Year Vehicles scheduled for September 17, 2009.
8/4/2009:A link to the June 25, 2009 Board transcripts has been added. The Cool Cars item begins on page 118.
7/23/2009:A Public Workshop to Consider Development of a "Cool Cars" Performance-Based Test Procedure for 2016 and Subsequent Model Year Vehicles has been Schedule for September 17, 2009.
September 17 Workshop Notice
5/08/2009:The Notice of Public Hearing and Board Documents to Consider Adoption of Cool Car Standards and Test Procedures for - 2012 and Subsequent Model-Year Passenger Cars, Light-Duty Trucks, and Medium-Duty Vehicles are now available.
To view a copy of these documents please go to the official Cool Cars regulatory website.
3/27/2009:The latest revised draft AB 32 Cool Cars regulations are now available.
Latest Revised Draft Regulations
3/12/2009:The presentation for the Public Workshop to Consider Requirements to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions from New Vehicles Caused by the Use Of Mobile Air Conditioners schedule for March 12, 2009 is now available.
3/04/2009:ARB has posted the agenda for the Public Workshop to Consider Requirements to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions from New Vehicles Caused by the Use Of Mobile Air Conditioners scheduled for March 12, 2009.
2/18/2009:The latest revised draft AB 32 Cool Paints and Reflective Glazings regulations are now available. Please submit comments by March 10, 2009. A second workshop on the cool cars program has been scheduled for March 12, 2009.
Latest Revised Draft Regulations
March 12 Workshop Notice
12/05/2008:The revised draft AB 32 Cool Paints and Reflective Glazings regulations are now available.
Revised Draft Regulations
05/27/2008:The presentation provided by Hashem Akbari of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory at the May 15, 2008 workshop is now available.
05/20/2008:The presentation provided by John Rugh of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory at the May 15, 2008 workshop is now available.
05/09/2008:The presentation for the Cool Paints and Reflective Glazing Workshop is now available.
05/06/2008:ARB has posted the draft regulations and agenda for the AB 32 Cool Paints and Reflective Glazings Public Workshop scheduled for May 15, 2008.
For more information, please contact: Dr. Marijke Bekken at (626) 575-6684.