You may have noticed that during particular times the roof and back window of your Tesla Model 3, S or X may appear “Burnt”. Like it has an orange or red glow to it that is not normally apparent during the day time.
The answer to this phenomena maybe simpler than you think!
Here is a GREAT example of the commonly referred to “fire glass”, in this video from Model 3 owner Bjørn Nyland:
Tesla Motors is leading the industry with their vehicles by designing large open glass panels to give the interior cabin an expansive feel. The glass adds great visibility and gives the interior a feeling of spaciousness. The downside of this is potential UV rays and Infrared heat intrusion into the interior surfaces leading to premature aging and fading of the leather seats and dashboard.
Teslas ingenious fix fo this is a proprietary “Infrared Rejection Coating”. This Orange-Red color is actually a reflection of the proprietary Infrared layer Tesla builds into its glass systems designed to both stop heat and UV rays from entering the interior space, Cool!
You can also see this on a Model X here
This is especially important for an electric car like the Model 3 because if the interior is hotter due to the glass roof, you’re more likely to run the air conditioning longer, and that’s just more drain on the battery and less electric range for driving. According to a European glass trade association, this type of layered glass, designed to reduce cabin heat, can improve a vehicle’s overall efficiency by 2 to 4 percent.
The reason that this orangey-red finish is visible under some circumstances only is the ability for us to perceive the infrared wavelength. Our eyes operate mostly within the visible light spectrum and are not able to see these wavelengths except for when they’re reflected to us in a visible form, such as within a water droplet. This is why this Orange/Red phenomena on Tesla’s vehicles is only visible in the late evening or early mornings when there is visible Dew on the glass, or after a car wash or a rain storm.
Even though Tesla’s engineers have found ways to help reduce interior cabin temperatures with this neat, high tech glass coatings. There are still technologies available that further increase the heat rejection and UV rejection possible for your Tesla’s glass surfaces. A high performance window film like Spectra Photosync IRD is designed to block up to 99% of the incoming Infrared Heat and 100% of damaging UV rays. This is a big improvement on top of Tesla’s own coating.
In addition, Tesla has recently only started to utilize its proprietary infrared coating on only part of the Rear windows of the Tesla Model 3 and part of the Windshield on the Tesla Model X. Some forum posts have even reported that recent Tesla’s have come without this coating entirely!
Learn more about Spectra Photosync window films here.