Painting car roofs white could reduce CO2 emissions, here’s how


We already know that painting the roof of a house white can significantly reduce the effects of heat in the home and therefore save energy. And the same practice could be applied in the automotive sector. If all cars had white roofs, it would allow drivers to emit less CO2 into the air, while saving money.

In his recent column in the French newspaper Le Monde, Raphaël Ménard, president of the architectural firm AREP (Architecture Recherche Engagement Post-carbone) — a subsidiary of the SNCF — recommends that in the long term, the roofs of cars should be always painted white. This solution is based on the notion of albedo, or the ability of a surface to reflect the sun’s rays according to its color. The principle is already used in housing, through “cool roofs” for example.

This change for the automotive sector is actually a proposal from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

This kind of modification could be imposed during the compulsory technical inspection, for example. According to Raphaël Ménard, in France alone, painting the entire car fleet white could represent savings of up to 500 million liters of gasoline per year, i.e. nearly a billion euros in power. purchase. Above all, this would correspond to the equivalent of one million tonnes less CO2 emitted into the air, ie almost 1% of road transport emissions. And if it could be effective for cars, it should also be true for trucks, buses, and even trains.

It should be noted that the same technique could be applied to certain other elements of the infrastructure, in particular the floors, in order to reduce heating needs.

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