US: California ‘cool cars’ rule may affect Bluetooth-based eCall

California’s “cool cars” rules (facing new criticism from the state’s police chiefs, sheriffs and crime victims advocates) will be amended in the coming weeks before a final version is issued, the state’s top regulator said.

The rule requires vehicles to have window glazing to keep interiors cool and reduce usage of air conditioning, thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions. (Air conditioning burns more gasoline and contributes to greenhouse gas emissions)

The regulation takes effect in 2012, with a three-year phase-in, and requires all vehicles to prevent 45 percent of the energy from the sun from entering a vehicle by 2014, and 60 percent by 2016. The regulation applies to new vehicles weighing 10,000 pounds or less.

However, the trade group representing the nation’s largest cell phone companies warned the California Air Resources Board that the state’s plans could interfere with cell phone signals.

The new requirement “significantly and negatively affects wireless device and network performance in a number of situations, including the completion capability and location accuracy of E-911 calls, particularly in rural areas,” the group said. (Note: This will also affect Bluetooth-based eCall solutions that rely entirely on the phone’s antenna)

The initial “cool cars” regulation will cost $111 over the life of a vehicle; the 2016 standard will add $250 to a vehicle’s cost. California says it will take five to 12 years for consumers to recoup the costs through reduced gasoline use.

California says its regulation will save 700,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide by 2020, which is equivalent to taking 140,000 cars off the road for a year.

But automakers have said the requirements could require extensive changes to vehicles.

Via: Detroit News.

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