CARB Releases New Proposed Draft of Cool Car Standards; Schedules Public Hearing for June 25-26
May 19, 2009

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has released a draft of its Cool Car Standards and Test Procedures. In addition, the group has scheduled a public hearing for June 25-26 to consider the adoption of the regulations.

The most recently released draft includes solar glazing regulations, but no longer addresses the focus of the original legislation-that of solar-reflective paints.

"Although staff believes that these paints should be developed and used, the timeframe of this regulation is too short to ensure that pigments for all desired colors can be developed," writes CARB in its report on the draft.

However, the group notes that solar reflective glazing already is available from a number of glass manufacturers. Likewise, CARB notes that it consulted with several manufacturers, including AGC/Asahi Glass, Exatec LLC, Guardian Industries, Pilkington Automotive, Pittsburgh Glass Works, Saint Gobain Sekurit and Zeledyne, as it developed the current proposed regulations.

The proposed regulations would require newly manufactured passenger vehicles to use solar management glazing, beginning with the model year 2012. Windshields would be required to transmit no more than 50 percent of the total solar energy into the vehicle-including visible light, as well as ultraviolet and infrared (heat) energy. Sunrooms would be required to transmit no more than 30 percent of the total solar energy, and "the balance of vehicular glazing would be required to transmit no more than 60 percent of the total solar energy."

In addition, the regulations would phase in a second requirement for windshields, limiting total solar requirement to no more than 40 percent, beginning with the model year 2014.

In its statement of reasons for rule-making, CARB writes that two glass manufacturers have advised they have or will have met this level by 2014, and the group also is proposing possible trade-offs-where manufacturers could potentially trade improved performance in one part of the vehicle's glass for reduced performance in another.

The regulation also would apply to replacement glass.

If passed in its current form, the Cool Paint regulation also would require additional labeling or marking on the glass "so that glazing replacers, consumers and enforcement personnel can identify complying product."

During the hearing on June 25, examples of these labels will be provided, according to the report.

CARB predicts that the regulation will have a "minimal impact on small business," and estimates that there are 1,021 automotive glass replacement businesses in California.

"These window replacement businesses, whether small or large, independent or affiliated with a vehicle dealership, will need to use replacement windows that meet the specified performance," writes CARB. "The additional cost, if any, for the solar management glazing will be passed on to the insurance company or to the consumer."

CARB also notes that no additional record-keeping will be required.

The June 25-26 hearing will begin at 9 a.m. at Byron Sher Auditorium at the California Environmental Protection Agency in Sacramento, Calif. Those who wish to submit comment but cannot attend may do so by noon on June 24. These comments should be sent to Clerk of the Board, Air Resources Board, 1001 I Street, Sacramento, Calif., 95814, submitted electronically at, or by fax to 916/322-3928.

The proposed CARB regulations have come about as a result of AB 32, California's Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, which requires the state to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020-a reduction of 25 percent.

CLICK HERE for full text of the "Staff Report: Initial Statement of Reasons for Rulemaking."

CLICK HERE for more information about June 25-26 hearing.

CLICK HERE for CARB Report, "Additional Information in Support of Proposed Cool Car Standards and Test Procedures."

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