Car Window Tint: Is it Worth it for Your EV?

August 12, 2023
EV Universe
EV Universe

Have you ever parked your electric vehicle (EV) under the sweltering summer sun and returned to find it uncomfortably hot? Have you wondered how to keep your EV cool, preserve its interior, and ensure your privacy all at once? The answer could be as simple as window tinting or applying a window film to your EV. Other than paint protection, adding tints on our vehicles is the first thing we do. We feel the benefits (discussed below) far outweigh any cost range needed to have it applied.


Window films, or window tints, offer a plethora of benefits for your EV. These include a more private driving experience, reduced in-car temperatures, and minimized UV damage to your vehicle’s interiors. However, is the investment of time and cost into window tinting or film application truly worth it? In this article, we will tackle the world of window tinting and films for electric vehicles. We’ll discuss their pros and cons, the different types available, and factors to consider when deciding to apply a window tint or film to your EV’s windows.


Understanding Car Window Tint: A Must for Your EV?

When it comes to managing sunlight in your electric vehicle (EV), window tinting plays a crucial role. This process involves the application of a special film over the glass of the vehicle. The effectiveness of this film is measured by its visible light transmission (VLT) value, expressed in percentages. The lower the percentage, the less light the film permits through the window, making for a cooler and less glare-intensive driving environment, which can be particularly beneficial for EV drivers, as reducing in-cabin heat can contribute to more efficient battery usage.


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These films come in a variety of types, including dyed, metalized, and ceramic films. Each one possesses its unique strengths and weaknesses, catering to diverse needs and budgets. Dyed films are typically more budget-friendly and easier to install, making them perfect for a DIY job that could cost around $150. On the other hand, metalized and ceramic films, offering superior benefits, require professional installation and can push your budget to upwards range of $400-1000. It depends on the shop in your area and how many windows you are tinting.


Regarding the tints, the shop will try to match the look across all windows. Most SUVs and vans have a privacy window for the rear and back windows. In most cases, these will not provide any heat rejection. Understanding your EV’s specific needs can help you select the most suitable window tinting option. For example, there is controversy if tinting the sunroof on a Tesla can lead to cracks or not. In discussions on Tesla forums, users had their cracked sunroof glass replaced by Tesla under warranty. It didn’t matter if the glass was tinted or not. Understand, your experience may vary — be sure to do additional research as needed.


Choosing the Right Car Window Tint for Your Electric Vehicle (EV)

Selecting the right window tint or film material is as crucial as the decision to tint your windows in the first place, particularly for EV owners. Each type of tinting film presents unique advantages and challenges, impacting your EV’s interior comfort, battery efficiency, and lifespan in distinct ways.


Understanding Different Types of Tinting Films

Dyed films: Dyed films are the most common type of window tint and are both cost-effective and easy to install. They provide a reasonable level of protection against sun damage, making them a practical choice for many. However, they are dyed with a dark color, which can fade over time. In addition, dyed films can create a mirrored effect from the outside, which may not appeal to everyone. For EV owners, dyed films provide a basic level of heat reduction, helping conserve your EV’s battery life.


Metalized Window Films: These are a notch up in price and level of protection. Coated with a thin layer of metal, they excel at reducing UV rays and heat. This translates to a more comfortable driving environment and offers extended protection for your EV’s interior. However, they come with a significant downside, especially for technology-driven vehicles like Teslas. The metallic content in these films can interfere with radio signals, affecting cellphone, GPS, and potentially some of your EV’s integral functionalities.


While we understand that metalized films have their merits, we do not recommend them for Tesla vehicles. Teslas, being at the forefront of automotive technology, heavily rely on various signals for their operations. Using metalized films could hamper the optimal performance and experience that Tesla owners cherish.


Transitional Window Films: Another type of film that has gained attention recently is the transitional window film. These films change their state from clear to dark based on their exposure to UV radiation. At first glance, this might seem like an innovative solution. However, it’s essential to know that some Tesla models come equipped with Lamisafe laminated glass. This type of glass affects the UV radiation reaching the window film. Consequently, transitional films might not function as intended – they may not transition from clear to dark efficiently due to the reduced UV exposure.


Given these nuances, it becomes crucial to make an informed choice about window tints, especially for advanced vehicles like Tesla. It’s always a good practice to consult with professionals and ensure the chosen tint complements the technological features of your car.


The Gold Standard: Ceramic Films for EVs

If you’re looking for the gold standard in window tints, ceramic films are it. Made from nonconductive ceramic particles, these films offer superior UV protection and heat reduction without interfering with radio signals. They’re incredibly durable, resist fading, and do not create the mirrored effect seen with dyed films.


For EV owners, ceramic tints can be a game-changer. By substantially reducing the amount of heat entering your vehicle in hot weather, they help maintain a more stable and comfortable interior temperature, minimizing the need for air conditioning and thereby conserving your EV’s battery life. It helps with the heat rejection in short spurts when you’re doing a grocery run, going to pickup kids, and other shopping. However, not as much if you’re parked under hot sun for hours. At that point, the heat will make itself in no matter what you do. If you’re able to remotely start your car, that will be a huge benefit. It will cool down your interior faster than without having ceremic tints.


Interestingly, these benefits aren’t confined to warmer weather. In colder seasons, ceramic tints work to retain heat inside the vehicle, reducing the need to continuously run the heating system. This insulation effect helps to keep the interior comfortably warm for extended periods and can lead to further energy savings. We have noticed we were able to keep the temperature lower than usual with ceremic tints in the winter.  Hopefully you can expect similar results.


While ceramic films come with a higher price tag (not that much higher), they are a worthwhile investment considering their long-term benefits. Their ability to enhance thermal control across varying weather conditions, coupled with superior UV protection and durability, justifies the initial cost and underscores their protective properties.


The Many Advantages of Window Tinting for Your EV

Installing a window tint on your electric vehicle (EV) comes with a wealth of benefits that enhance your driving experience and preserve the condition and value of your car.


Combat Heat and Glare: Window tints, especially high-quality ceramic films, can drastically decrease the amount of sunlight that enters your car, significantly reducing glare and heat. These properties are particularly useful during hot summer days when the sun’s rays can make driving uncomfortable and put a strain on your EV’s battery due to excessive air conditioning use. Furthermore, by blocking harmful UV rays, window tints protect your car’s interior from premature fading and deterioration, prolonging its life and vibrancy.


Boost Privacy and Security: A window tint offers an increased sense of privacy as it limits the visibility into your vehicle, making it a great option if you frequently carry valuable items or want to ensure privacy for your passengers. This feature can also act as a deterrent to potential thieves, as they cannot easily see what’s inside your car, adding an extra layer of security.


Enhance Safety: Beyond comfort and privacy, window tints also contribute to your safety on the road. By reducing glare, they improve visibility for the driver during daylight and nighttime driving. Additionally, in the unfortunate event of an accident, the film can help hold shattered glass together, reducing the risk of injury from flying shards.


Preserve Resale Value: A well-installed, high-quality window tint can also positively impact your EV’s resale value. It lends a sleek, stylish appearance while preserving the car’s interior from sun damage, keeping it looking new for longer. This is particularly beneficial for electric vehicles as maintaining the condition of the interior – especially for models with touchscreen controls and other sensitive components – is crucial to maintaining the vehicle’s value.


Improved Battery Life: For electric vehicles, managing interior temperature is not just a matter of comfort but also crucial for battery efficiency. By minimizing the need for excessive use of heating or air conditioning, window tints indirectly contribute to improving your EV’s battery life, ensuring you get the most range from each charge.


Drawbacks of Tinting

Installing a window tint on your vehicle can have drawbacks for several reasons but all reasons have a solution depending on the type of tint you choose. Make sure to discuss with your local installer if you have any questions before deciding on the tint:


Reduced visibility: Window tinting can decrease visibility, especially during nighttime or in low-light conditions. This can compromise your safety on the road, making it challenging to see pedestrians, other vehicles, or road hazards clearly. Around a 50% tint will provide the needed protection without limiting visibility.


Legal restrictions: Window tinting laws vary by state and sometimes county. Exceeding the permitted tint darkness level can lead to legal consequences, such as fines or even vehicle inspections. It’s important to ensure that you comply with local regulations to avoid potential penalties.


Interference with electronic devices: Certain types of window tint contain metal particles. This can interfere with electronic devices like GPS, cell phone signals, or toll transponders. This interference may cause inconvenience or affect the proper functioning of these devices while driving.


In Conclusion: Car Window Tinting as an Investment in Your EV

Window tinting, or applying window film, is more than a simple cosmetic upgrade for your electric vehicle (EV). It’s a strategic choice that enhances comfort, safety, and energy efficiency. In addition, it can even boost your vehicle’s resale value.


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A broad spectrum of tint options is available, each with its unique set of benefits. Thus, you have the freedom to pinpoint a solution that aligns perfectly with your EV’s requirements and your personal taste. However, it’s crucial to note that not all tints are made equal. Higher-end choices, such as ceramic tints, might be more expensive, but they deliver superior perks. These are especially valuable for EV owners, offering exceptional heat regulation that optimizes your battery’s efficiency in diverse climates.


Before you settle on a choice, consider the factors we’ve highlighted. These include the different characteristics of various tints, local laws, and the specific needs of your EV. By doing so, you can ensure that you pick the most suitable tint or film. This decision could not only transform your car’s appearance but also enhance its performance and lifespan. So, while it might seem like a minor detail, the right window tint can make a significant difference for your EV.


If you’re unsure of where to begin, a simple search for “window tinting near me” can lead you to professionals in your local area who can offer guidance and services tailored to your needs. This is an easy and convenient way to start your journey towards enhancing your EV with the perfect window tint.



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