How much does the exterior color contribute to loss of power (A/C question in disguise)

Discussion in 'General' started by Yanni, Sep 24, 2018.

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  1. Yanni

    Yanni Member

    Hi! Wondering how much the exterior color of the car affects the available power to drive additional miles. Is it significant? Is it negligible?

    As an example, years ago I owned a very dark blue car. It got a lot hotter in the sun than other cars I'd owned (one white, one silver) so obviously I used the AC more in the black car. I don't think this is news to anyone.

    I live in a sunny area and not sure if I should limit my car choices to just the lighter colored cars so that I don't unnecessarily waste kWh on AC usage versus driving. I know I used more gas to run the AC in those old cars, but gas is/was easier to find than power.

    Not sure if anyone really can answer definitively, as most people only know how their own car operates, and don't have a second "control" vehicle to compare against.

    it just seems like common sense...but should I even bother considering this?

    Thanks in advance for info.

    If it makes a difference, we'll be using over-generation from our solar panels primarily to power our EV, and so not really planning on using public charging stations (much). We already generate plenty of free kWh and so any time spent at public charging is just money out the window.
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  3. Roland

    Roland Member

    My wife was worried that black leather interior would be too hot. But the car stays parked in the shade at home, so it's not really any hotter than a lighter interior would be. A dark exterior might be a little hotter, but the ac really doesn't draw much power. We took our dogs to the vet the other day and I sat out in the car with them while my wife took them in 1 at a time. I ran the ac and the stereo for 45 minutes sitting out in the parking lot and only burned 3 miles of battery reserve doing it. So for whatever it's worth, pick your favorite color and park in the shade whenever possible... :)
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  4. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber

    I bought a car cover for our BMW i3-REx and it helps, a lot. As for color, I’ve gone with silver, a fairly innocuous color. I don’t want the speed trap cops to have it easy.

    Bob Wilson
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  5. Yanni

    Yanni Member

    Got it. 45 minutes = 3 miles

    At least that is one point of data I didn't have before. Thanks.

    I think many of them have black interiors (leather or cloth...), but what color is the EXTERIOR of your car?

    At home the car will be garaged. We'll be switching off who drives it, depending on who needs our other car, the gas one, but between me going to work or our daughter going to school, it will likely be in the sun all day long M-F. Shade options minimal for our normal usage.
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  6. Roland

    Roland Member

    Mind you that was with the ac set on Eco and 73º, not Comfort. My Volt is the Iridescent Pearl Tricoat (White). It was 92º and sunny the day I sat in the parking lot for 45 minutes. When I bought the car I also had the windows all tinted to the darkest legal shade. Tinting helps a lot and is well worth the extra $200.
    If it's parked in the sun for long you will probably want to get familiar with the remote start function, so it will be mostly cooled off inside by the time you make it across the parking lot. I've been very impressed with the ac in this car. I spent 36 years in the low desert, so leaving a window cracked while parked out in the sun is second nature to me.
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  8. larrenz

    larrenz Member

    When I park my car in the sun, I use sunshades on the windows. The temperature difference is very noticeable though I don't any data.

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