Most efficient color

Discussion in 'General' started by Aircooled6, Dec 2, 2017.

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  1. Aircooled6

    Aircooled6 New Member

    I live in Dallas Texas. What is the most efficient color for the Bolt; dark or light?
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  3. WadeTyhon

    WadeTyhon Well-Known Member

    Greetings fellow north Texan! :)

    If you’re worried about efficiency based on the car color... don’t. It makes only the slightest of difference.

    But if you really hate hot cars in a blistering 100* Dallas summer then i would go for a white or silver Bolt. Skip the dark grey or black.

    But I have a dark grey bolt in Dallas and it doesn’t make much difference. It helps more to park in the shade or in a parking garage. A car parked in the sun is gonna heat up regardless of paint color lol.
    jim likes this.
  4. Feed The Trees

    Feed The Trees Active Member

    driving around is the issue, out in the sun like that the white car will require a bit less cooling than a black one

    A black car heats up faster than an identical white car. (From Pilot 2)

    A fan wrote in and asked a follow up question: “Does the color of a car affect the way it heats up?”. The MythBusters used two identical cars, one black the other white and left them both out in the summer heat with thermometers in both. By mid-afternoon the black car had heated up to a temperature of 135 °F while the white car topped off at 126 °F, almost 10 degrees cooler.
    WalksOnDirt likes this.
  5. Aircooled6

    Aircooled6 New Member

    OK, because heating is a big drain in the winter, hence heated seats and steering wheel, my choice of the Cajun Red should help a little with heating.
  6. WadeTyhon

    WadeTyhon Well-Known Member

    Yes, as Feed the Trees stated, darker cars will get hotter in the summer. But the A/C is a very minor drain on the battery compared to the heater. It might make a difference of 15-25 miles depending on the outside temperature.

    But the heater can easily lower your range over 25% if you have it running constantly.

    The winter months here in Dallas are usually worst between late December and the end of March. I haven't had my Bolt long enough to know it's winter performance.

    But on those days when temps are in the 40s or lower, I would pre-heat my Spark EV while it is plugged in every morning. Then once I was in the car, I turned on the defroster with the temp at "low". The seat heaters and defroster were enough to keep me warm. But it had far less of a negative affect on the range than if I just set the heater to auto.

    The heated steering wheel will make this method even more effective!
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  8. In the summer, white. In the winter, dark.

    So, I would go with 2-tone. :D Maybe along these lines:
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  9. Feed The Trees

    Feed The Trees Active Member

    We have good strong sun and I still often need to run the AC on cold days, the car gets so stuffy and warm without it. Anything over 40 and I usually have AC going.
  10. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    Well, the only category in which this matters is in running the A/C or running the heater.

    Given that Dallas has a lot more uncomfortably hot days than uncomfortably cold days, I think the most energy efficient colors will be silver or white, which will reduce the amount of heating inside your car when it's sitting in the sun, thus reducing the amount of use of the A/C.

    However, that's just my guess. The counter argument would be that use of the heater sucks up a lot more kWh than use of the A/C, so you'd be better off with a black color to warm the car up on cold winter days.

    But I think -- this is just my impression, I can't back it up with any figures -- the amount of heating contributed by a black color on the car is much greater on hot days than it is on cold days. Part of the reason for that is that there are fewer hours of sunshine on cold winter days than on hot summer days. That, at least, is indisputable. ;)

    It would be interesting to see a graph of kWh saved with a car colored black vs. a car colored white/silver, vs. average annual temperature, and also vs. number of annual days of sunshine.
    Domenick likes this.
  11. Feed The Trees

    Feed The Trees Active Member

    A cold day in Dallas will still provide some thermal warming of the greenhouse so long as there is a decent amount of sun. You will never get a cooling effect in the summer though.

    Now if you live in Chicago where it's both blazing hot and wildly cold then I say you just move ;)
    Domenick likes this.
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  13. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    That's going to be true no matter what color the paint is, altho with black the amount of heating will be greater.

    But the question here is whether black or silver/white will save the most kWh in lowered use of the heater and the A/C on an annual basis, not just in one season of the year.
  14. jim

    jim Active Member

    I live in the VERY HOT Phoenix area. I use a infra red meter to measure the outside of different color cars. WHITE is about 50-100F cooler.

    But the interior color is just as important. A hard material gets hotter too. So a light color interior keep the heat down and reduces air conditioning loads. Tinted windows also also important. I like the dash mate dash covers. They can be a lighter color to keep the heat down and the soft cloth material won't gain or hold as much heat so it could even be black but I light a lighter tan or grey.

    So the outside, inside colr and interior material all make a difference. I love efficiency and monitor and test all the time. Even LED lights make a difference. Old Incadencent buls make 90% heat and less than 10% light. Even a small interior light get hot if it's old tech.
  15. jim

    jim Active Member

    a Silver car also stays cooler. Good window tint can reduce inside temps and a light colored dash matte so the car doesn't turn into a solar oven. It all adds up.
    Domenick and WadeTyhon like this.

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