Volkswagen has developed a windshield made with a conductive layer of silver to provide required heat for clear windshields in winter without the use of embedded filament wires. Any renewed misting or icing up is also prevented.
For decades, fine filaments have been inserted into windshield glass as an optional extra to prevent windows from misting up and ensuring that any layer of ice quickly thaws. When facing oncoming evening traffic, in particular, or when the sun is very low, the fine metal wires can, however, become visible to the driver.
In Volkswagen’s new wire-free system, a wafer-thin electrically conductive layer of silver within the laminated glass provides the required heat by converting electric current. Consuming no more than 400 to 500 watts, the window quickly warms up and thus becomes a defrosting aid.
Within the bottom section of the windscreen, invisible from the outside, there are also filaments that act as windscreen wiper heaters to prevent the wiper blades from freezing to the glass. Volkswagen is offering the wire-free heated and infrared-reflecting windscreen as an optional extra for the Golf, Golf Sportsvan, Tiguan, Sharan, Passat and Passat Variant models. Prices start at €340, depending on model.
In the summer, the thin layer of silver acts as a passive heat shield. As it reflects up to 60% of the summer heat, it is able to reduce the inside temperature by up to 15 degrees more than conventional glass with green tinting. As a result, the air-conditioning system is able to cool a car that has been parked in the sun down to a comfortable temperature much more quickly.