Here's Why The Color Of Your Car Can Cut Pollution


Depends which color, of course.

Those looking for a new car wanting to do something good for the environment should know that the choice of the car's bofy color matters. The Guardian reports about a study conducted by scientists from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory showing that the interiors of silver and white cars were cooler than black cars. How come? Because light colors reflect about 60 percent of sunlight, thus making the car’s interior cooler and, therefore, reducing the chance that the air conditioner will be required.

Turning on the AC makes a car less fuel efficient, as most of you probably already know. These scientists tested a pair of Honda Civics, one black, one silver, and parked them in the sun facing the same direction for one hour in Sacramento, California. Sixty minutes later, the silver Civic’s interior was about 41 to 43 degrees Fahrenheit cooler than the black car. Because it’s what scientists do, they then calculated that the cooler car’s interior improved fuel economy by 0.44 mpg over the other car. As a result, this would cut carbon dioxide emissions by 1.9 percent as well as other exhaust pollutants by 1 percent. Doesn’t sound like all that much, right?

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An individual car doesn’t really even make a dent against C02 emissions, but the study (again those numbers loving scientists) calculated that if those results were enacted across the US, from sea to shining sea, there’d be a 2 percent improvement in fuel economy for all cars, trucks and vans. Millions of gallons of fuel and corresponding C02 emissions would be saved. Yes, it’s really that simple.

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