Colorado Won't Let You Run Your Car Unattended, Unless You've Got a Remote Start
Living in New England, one of the greatest options you can possibly get for a new car is remote start (heated front-row seats and heated steering wheel tied at a very close second). If your car is covered in snow, hit the start button on your key fob from the comfort of your home or place of work, and the head from the car does half the work in terms of cleaning all the snow off your car. But if you care about the environment (and you should) there is a clear downside to the remote start. For five to 10 minutes–maybe more–your car is just sitting there, running, and you’re not in it. As such, Colorado has something called a “puffing” ban, where it is illegal for cars to be left running unattended. In addition to the environmental impact, the practice has its obvious safety concerns. RELATED: Five Things You Can do to Prepare for a Winter Storm
According to ABC 7 in Denver, an exception is being proposed for remote start vehicles. Proponents of the exception cite the dangers of putting a baby right into a hot car in the summer without cooling the interior down. The proposal, which has been given preliminary approval by Colorado’s House Transportation and Energy Committee would allow a remotely started vehicle as long as certain precautions were taken, such as making sure you took the key fob with you, and engaging a “steering wheel security device.” Most new cars have steering wheel interlocks, but they might actually mean the Club. (Seems a little dated, no?)
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In the future, there might be a better way to cut down emissions on remotely started vehicles. Fully electric vehicles don’t require engines to warm up to provide head to the warm air for the climate control. As more and more hybrids and mild hybrids enter the market, create some sort of “eco-warm” mode that allows the car to warm up the heated seats, climate control, and warm the outside mirrors and windows using the electric power from the battery, rather than run the motor in the driveway.
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This idea is obviously half-baked and requires far smarter individuals to think this “eco-warm” mode through, but there certainly are ways to reduce emissions even when you are trying to warm your car up in the winter.