Got range anxiety? Solar control glass lets you turn down the A/C

Hyundai Genesis fitted with solar control glass

The EPGAA, an automotive glass industry association, says that solar control glass can "substantially" reduce the need for A/C, thus extending the range of an electric vehicle.

Overcoming "range anxiety" is key to electric vehicle adoption, says the EPGAA. That's exactly why the association claims that "Advanced Solar Control," which is specifically designed to reduce a vehicle's heat load, could be part of the millions of small breakthroughs that will take electric vehicles to the next level. According to the EPGAA, electric vehicles fitted with solar control glass could see their range improve by up to 30 percent during the balmy days of summer. Um, okay?

But wait! There's more! EPGAA says that solar control glass can reduce a plug-in vehicle's core battery temperature. How's that possible? Um, no clue. EPGAA makes that bold claim, but only backs it with this, "NREL tests have shown that a vehicle equipped with advanced solar control glass can reduce core battery temperatures by up to 3.5 degrees C compared to a vehicle not so equipped."

[Source: Enhanced Protective Glass Automotive Association]
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EV Range Anxiety? Turn off the Air, says the EPGAA

Advanced Solar Control Glass can increase range in electric and hybrid electric vehicles by reducing air conditioning use, according to industry trade group

DEARBORN, Mich., June 21, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The EPGAA, a glass industry association, says that Advanced Solar Control Glass can significantly reduce the need for air conditioning, extending EV range. The announcement was made in response to a prevalent theme heard while attending the Automotive News Green Car Conference, held in Detroit, Mich. on June 13 & 14, 2011.

Automotive leaders globally have acknowledged that overcoming range anxiety is a key barrier to EV proliferation, and that ancillary loads such as air conditioning decrease range significantly. Advanced Solar Control glass is designed to reduce the solar heat load in the vehicle so that the workload of the air conditioning system is also reduced. It works by reducing the amount of solar energy that enters a vehicle.

Consider that approximately 50% of all US drive segments occur between noon and 5 pm- typically the hottest time of the day. When equipped with Advanced Solar Control glazing, cabin temperatures at startup can be up to 20 degrees lower than vehicles without Advanced Solar Control glazing. This means climate control systems use less energy to make the vehicle comfortable. Even in motion, prevalent automatic climate control systems have been shown to draw less power to maintain the desired temperature set point, freeing more energy for vehicle range.

As a barrier to EV proliferation beyond early adopter purchases, "range anxiety" can be alleviated somewhat through the use of advanced technologies such as solar control glazing. Electric vehicles fitted with solar control glazing could achieve as much as a 30% improvement in range during high air conditioning usage seasons.

Additional benefits derived from the use of Advanced Solar Control glass in internal combustion powered vehicles include reduced green house gas emissions by increasing fuel efficiency as much as 5% during prime AC season. Additionally laminated glass, used in conjunction with advanced solar control technologies, is inherently lighter than standard tempered glass, thus reducing the overall weight of the vehicle and further increasing vehicle efficiency.

Finally, laminated glass, including laminated glass with Advanced Solar Control, provides ancillary benefits to consumers. Laminated glass, due to its tough plastic interlayer, does not shatter like tempered glass when impacted, offering occupant ejection protection in the event of a crash. In a rollover situation, passengers are less likely to be fully or partly ejected if protected by a combination of side air bags and laminated glass, according to NHTSA.

Other benefits include:

Intrusion resistance

Laminated glass also protects against break-in "smash and grab" theft, providing 10 times the intrusion resistance vs. tempered glass.

Hot Car Safety

Hyperthermia is estimated to be the 3rd leading cause of non traffic related deaths in children under 15 years old, behind back over and front rollover incidents. While no technology guarantees prevention of in-vehicle heat stroke (just as anti lock brakes do not guarantee accident prevention) it logically follows that slowing the rate at which cabin temperatures increase could provide an additional margin for error.

Reducing Battery Core Temperatures

Significant effort is made to prolong the life span of expensive EV/hybrid battery packs by controlling battery core temperature. NREL tests have shown that a vehicle equipped with advanced solar control glass can reduce core battery temperatures by up to 3.5 degrees C compared to a vehicle not so equipped.

Sound Reduction

The use of laminated glass in the side windows of vehicles has been shown to reduce the interior noise by as much as 3 dB. The interlayer in laminated glass helps provide protection from outside wind and road noise, keeping the car interior quieter and more comfortable and allowing for easier conversation and more enjoyable use of entertainment equipment.


Testing has shown vehicles equipped with advanced solar control glass, parked in the sun with the windows closed, may reduce the effects of solar heat significantly compared to standard tempered glass. Depending upon glass/vehicle configuration, the same glass that rejects solar heat can be electrically heated- reducing power drain from windshield defrost heat generation and blower motors, which are yet another significant source of EV range degradation.

UV Protection

Laminated glass filters skin cancer-causing ultra violet rays. It is estimated that over 40 million Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer in 2030, compared to approximately 2 million per year currently. Filtering UV also protects consumers' investments by lessening the damaging effect of harmful UV rays on a vehicle's interior, since those rays cause fabrics to fade and degrade, leather to age, and plastic and vinyl to crack. According to the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPNSA), the laminated glass interlayer screens up to 95 percent of damaging UV rays, providing a UV Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of over 50.

About the EPGAA

The Enhanced Protective Glass Automotive Association (EPGAA), composed of glass and glass interlayer suppliers, supports Automotive OEMs and regulatory agencies by providing information and education on the development of laminated glass for improved fuel efficiency, vehicle security, occupant comfort and safety. For more information on the EPGAA, visit

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