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Air Resources Board considers requiring sun-reflecting glass

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The California Air Resources Board today considers whether to require auto manufacturers to include sun-reflecting glass on all vehicles sold in the state. KPCC’s Steve Julian says automakers aren’t necessarily opposed.

Despite its financial troubles, the auto industry hasn’t objected to the potential cost of the proposed regulation. But automakers say they need more time to comply than California wants. The state is working to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.

If regulators adopt the standard, three-quarters of passenger vehicles would have to sport specially coated windshields that block half of the sun’s heat from entering a parked car, beginning in about two years. All vehicles would have to comply a year later.

Regulators say the invisible coating would cool a car’s interior by 14 degrees; about 12 degrees for a pickup or SUV. This would reduce the need for air conditioning. The standard would be even higher in 2014 – a timeline some glass manufacturers say would be hard to meet.