Oct. 28, 2019—A luxury glass feature might boost the fuel economy or electric range of cars to come, reported The Detroit Free Press.
The Suspended Particle Device, a film that turns vehicles' sun roofs and other glass from transparent to opaque, blocks the infrared and ultraviolet light that superheat interiors and prematurely age leather and other materials. Mercedes and McLaren currently offer SPD glass on a handful of expensive cars including the Mercedes S-class sedan and SL roadster.
Less heat in the car could allow automakers to shrink air conditioning compressors up to 40 percent, reducing cost and weight. AC compressors use a lot of energy, so a cooler car will burn less fuel. In an electric vehicle, that could amount to a 5.5 percent increase in battery range in hot weather.