Today at Berkeley Lab

Cool Colors for Cars Could Improve Fuel Economy, Reduce Emissions

Nearly all cars sold in California have air conditioners. Cars painted with reflective coatings stay cooler in the sun and are easier to air condition to a comfortable temperature, according to a recent study by researchers in Berkeley Lab’s Environmental Energy Technologies Division. “Solar reflective paints can decrease the ‘soak’ temperature of the air in a car that has been parked in the sun. This could improve the vehicle’s fuel economy by letting the manufacturer install a smaller air conditioner that draws less power from the engine,” says Ronnen Levinson, scientist in the Heat Island Group, and lead author of the study. More>