Thanks to heating and AC systems, it's easy for passengers in a car to forget about weather conditions outside. It’s always comfortable inside the vehicle – but this comes at the cost of battery power and fuel. Things are no different in architecture: well-insulated houses consume less energy. Passive houses use intelligent ventilation, heating, and insulation to minimize energy consumption. But the first passive structure wasn't a house. Built in 1892, the polar ship Fram featured triple-pane windows and 40cm-thick wall panels made from felt, cork, wood, and linoleum. This made it possible to keep the ship warm without even lighting the furnace.
The passive car will be developed with special paints and windows. Coatings designed to reflect sunlight cool the interior have been around for a long time. One example is the BASF Solaric System that lowers interior temperature by 4°C. In Japan, Toyota offers an optional temperature-lowering Thermo-Tect Lime Green coating for Prius models. This not only lessens the need for air conditioning and refrigerants, it improves fuel economy.
Glass is an important factor when it comes to interior temperatures. To regulate sunlight coming through the windows, some cars use electric glass that can be dimmed or cleared at the touch of a button – or by gesture or voice control. Ferrari deployed this technology back in 2005 for the roof of the 575 M Superamerica.