Market Snapshot


The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL, a U.S. Department of Energy laboratory), PPG and other leading automotive suppliers presented research findings on a new glazed automotive windshield at the recent Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) World Congress. PPG’s Sungate EP automotive glass windshield significantly reduced the transmission of solar energy into a vehicle, keeping the interior cooler and improving fuel economy, according to a PPG Industries press release.

According to the NREL study, Sungate EP glazing can reduce front seat temperatures 27 degrees F (15 C) and air-breath temperatures 16 degrees F (9 C). This reduces air conditioner workload, along with fuel consumption and carbon-dioxide emissions.

Sungate EP automotive glass is an advanced version of the original infrared (IR) reflective Sungate windshield. Previous research showed drivers could save up to 4%, or $66, in annual fuel costs using the Sungate windshield, which is featured on several current Mercedes-Benz and BMW models.

“Sungate windshields reduce the initial workload on a vehicle’s air-conditioning system, which represents the biggest use of power for climate control,” said Mukesh Rustagi, PPG global product market manager. “Because the air conditioner doesn’t have to work as hard, fuel efficiency increases, emissions decrease and consumers experience a cooler vehicle on entry.”

Rustagi said concerns about gasoline prices and global warming have made consumers more conscious of vehicles’ fuel efficiency and emissions output, so he comments that Sungate windshields benefit the environment, consumers’ pocketbooks and automakers trying to satisfy consumer preferences.

Sungate windshield technology also will help automakers meet the tougher emissions and fuel-economy requirements of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) revised Supplemental Federal Test Procedure (SFTP), Rustagi said, without compromising vehicle affordability, safety or performance.

“Consumers are seeking technologies that improve their experience with their vehicles and help them save money and be environmentally responsible,” Rustagi said. “In the J.D. Power & Associates 2006 U.S. Automotive Emerging Technologies Study, nearly three-fourths of respondents were interested in having advanced solar-reflective windshields on their next new vehicles, and the Sungate windshield from PPG helps automakers fulfill that consumer interest.”

Source: PPG Industries. (April 19, 2007). “PPG Automotive Glass Helps Drivers Stay Cool and Save Fuel.” PPG Industries courtesy of PR Newswire.