NeilBlanchard wrote:Direct heating defroster - these were don in the '70's and 80's by Ford, with a molecule thick layer of gold. It worked quickly and with a fraction of the energy used by what we have now. The e-Golf has a direct heating defroster that uses tiny wires embedded in the glass; but it is not very strong, and doesn't work on ice.
Thermal insulation is another obvious improvement.
Heated seats and steering wheel we already have. With a heated vest / jacket and a plug next to each seat would be better.
On the cooling side, we could have much better passive air flow through the car, and this could actually improve the drag of the car. Low-E glass would be a huge improvement, as well.
The general public isn't going to accept the need to wear specific clothes to drive/ride, so AFAIC recommending heated clothing is an admission that an auto maker has no intention of appealing to more than a tiny hard-core niche audience. The rest, yes, insulation and electrically heated glass can work - I've got heated mirrors and the base of the windshield (to unfreeze wiper blades) on my Forester. There have been issues with the B-Class' heated windshield, as the wires are apparently quite visible at certain sun angles, to the point where they're distracting or block some vision. Electric rear defrosters aren't really a problem for anyone, especially with rear cameras becoming ubiquitous.