Thoughts on Glass Roof?

Discussion in 'Rivian General Discussions' started by skyote, Jun 9, 2019.

  1. skyote

    skyote Well-Known Member

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    I have never owned a vehicle with a glass roof, and I'm curious to get the opinions & experiences of folks here.

    I live in TX, where heat is a major issue. I like the idea of the electrochromatic glass, but am concerned about the heat.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Hmp10

    Hmp10 Well-Known Member

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    I've seen opinions all over the place. On another thread this morning, a poster said he drove a Model X on a road trip and did not find heat or glare an issue through its extended glass windshield. (He lives near Chicago but didn't say where the trip took him.)

    I ordered a metal roof on my 2015 Tesla in south Florida after test driving a panoramic glass roof and finding it hot to the touch with a blanket of warm air near the glass. I had the same experience riding in the back seat of a Model X down here under its glass roof.

    My brother got a Tesla Model 3 with a glass roof last fall in Atlanta. Now that the warm weather has arrived, he is not finding the glass roof to be a problem. In fact, he said he doesn't even notice that the roof is glass unless he remembers to look up. (This begs another question. Are the supposed spectacular views through the roof actually worth having a glass roof? They are expensive, especially to repair, and probably add weight to the top of the car. How much time do we spend in our cars wanting to look up through the roof, anyway.)

    My personal view is that glass roofs are an automotive fad, much like opera windows of old, whose time will pass. It will be interesting to see how insurance companies deal with them in terms of repair and replacement costs.
     
  3. ElectricTrucking

    ElectricTrucking Well-Known Member

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    If I have a choice I will decline a glass roof. Too much sun here in Phoenix.
     
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  4. cllc

    cllc Member

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    #4 cllc, Jun 9, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2019
    I live in Wisconsin I like my glass roof on my model 3, the unwanted excess heat comes in the car through the front windsheild and the side windows that are not tinted with the filtered glass.The glass roof and glass rear windshield does a good job of blocking the heat in those areas.Its easier to clean the top of the glass with out scratching the paint its a nice feature on a sportier lower profile car, but today when taking a leisurely trip I turned down a gravel road that was getting resurfaced and it was like a wash board effect going on and I could hear the glass roof trying to flex from the steel car frame, I quickly got off the path of that road and drove an extra 7 miles out of my way in order to avoid breaking the glass roof. I'm thinking a glass roof on an Suv and getting out on many miles rough roads out on the country side which is what the Rivian is supposed to be designed for would not be such a good idea, but if your not going to use it for that purpose it should be ok. My wife however would like it to have the powered moon roof and this is going to her vehicle, but so far I have not heard that a moon roof would be an option.
     
  5. Hmp10

    Hmp10 Well-Known Member

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    Some of the early Tesla Model X's had problems with windshields cracking due to the lower torsional rigidity of that model. I heard that Tesla addressed the problem, but I don't know how. Tesla uses a unibody construction, by which all the major body panels are stressed components. Since Rivian is going to be a body-on-frame construction, perhaps there will be less stress on the junctions between glass and roof frame?

    One of the things I wonder about glass roofs is how they behave in winter, especially at night or with heavy cloud cover. Heating an EV car interior is a big drain on the battery. Tesla even recommends turning the seat heaters on high during winter driving in order to set the cabin temperature lower, as heating the ambient air requires much more energy than heating the seat surfaces. Metal roofs have an insulation layer. It seems glass roofs would lose a lot of heat through conduction losses when driving in cold weather in dark conditions, putting even more load on the interior heating. Has anyone had experience with this?
     
  6. Nordic

    Nordic New Member

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    Hopefully if they have them they will be optional. This is not something I would want on truck being built as an adventure vehicle. Nor would I want the added heating and A/C drain in extreme temps. Also, wouldn’t want the weight penalty and potential reduced rigidity. Now a solar roof and bed cover would be interesting.

    FLCar has had an interesting experience with theirs on the Model 3.

     
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  7. Hmp10

    Hmp10 Well-Known Member

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    Wow. That video is really making me rethink my deposit on a Lucid Air which has an even more expansive glass roof than a Tesla and with more components attached to it.

    If the manufacturers don't begin to back away from mandatory glass roofs, the insurance industry may eventually step in with much higher premiums for glass-roofed cars once they start accumulating data on repair experiences. Having to replace an entire glass roof because of a minor taillight crunch against a garage door jamb is annoying, to say the least.
     
  8. skyote

    skyote Well-Known Member

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    Wow, that's definitely crazy. However, I would hope that wouldn't be an issue with Rivian for minor accidents like that, since the glass is on top & not contiguous with other glass panels.

    Definitely hope they have a metal roof option.
     
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  9. skyote

    skyote Well-Known Member

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    In a FB group, a guy said Rivian told him @ NYIAS that there would be 3 different roof options:

    1) Electrochromatic glass with 20 shade/color options.
    2) Fixed roof
    3) Some sort of removable roof
     
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  10. Hmp10

    Hmp10 Well-Known Member

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    If the fixed roof will be metal, this is good news, indeed.

    My brother, who reads a lot more about EV's than I do, said that one of the reasons glass roofs are becoming so popular across so many brands is that they facilitate robotic assembly. A glass roof is not attached until near the end of the production process, giving the robots better access to the interior than metal roofs which are part of the body-in-white that enters the assembly line.
     
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  11. skyote

    skyote Well-Known Member

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    That's very interesting about the robotic manufacturing & interior access through the roof.

    I asked for clarification on whether he knew if the fixed roof would be metal & he said he wasn't sure... Seems like you could create a metal roof assembly, similar to the glass, and either attach it the same way or weld it, but I could be wrong.
     
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  12. jimcgov3

    jimcgov3 Well-Known Member

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    I too have some mixed feelings on which route I will take when it comes to optioning out my T. Mostly just because of the presumed cost difference between the glass or metal. I would love the glass. The ability to have the outside inside without actually being outside....and the electro-chromatic tint ability to knock down any un-needed light and heat...
     
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  13. Alan Burns

    Alan Burns Well-Known Member

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    I have owned SUVs with sun roofs over the front seats. There was a sliding liner panel which kept cold winter temps and hot summer greenhouse warmth out of the interior when closed. When it was slid open the glass was hinged on the front edge to allow the rear edge to open 3" or so. This would create a draft through the interior in the summer. This always worked well for me in western states. That would be the option I would order if it is available .
     
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  14. skyote

    skyote Well-Known Member

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    I love the idea of the glass, but am worried about the practicality down here in the heat. If I lived in a cooler climate, I'd likely go with glass...and I still might anyway.
     
  15. AmpedUp

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    I like the option of the monochromatic glass on the roof to be able to go clear and dark and somewhere in between. I'll probably get it. I'll be in the back seat and let others drive to enjoy that view.

    On my Jeep, I have the sunroof and the window behind that. I've never seen that be a problem for people unless its bright and you have no sunglasses. :) The only times I felt the weather through the sunroof was driving for a long time with the sun hitting me. Its also got a cover that slides to cover the glass if its too hot, so easy way out. In all the times we've been out in the wild, I never once thought about the glass above and have never had any problems with it. I hope the RS1 monochromatic glass also has a sliding cover.

    On our Tesla Model X, same thing. The view is awesome in the front seat from the windshield going back so far. As with the Jeep, only when the sun was beating down on you for a while did you start to feel it. We put the sun visor on for a time to see if it helps. It does, but takes the view away.
     
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  16. DocTwinkie

    DocTwinkie Well-Known Member

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    I’ll pass on glass. If I want to see the sky I want wind so a traditional sunroof or removable roof is my preferred. I either want open air or sun blocked.
     
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  17. EyeOnRivian

    EyeOnRivian Well-Known Member

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    FWIW, there's a YT video from the Overland West Expo (previously featured on this forum) where a Rivian rep was answering questions and giving mini presentations about the R1T. He mentions #1 and #3 but nothing about #2 - Fixed roof. The following YT link is queued to play around 10:35 when he mentions the roof.


    Regarding the OP, I have had three vehicles with a retractable sun roof and accompanying sun shade. Really enjoy the ability to let in additional light and air circulation, but this option was only acceptable if I could block the sun from beating on me on those hot days. The retractable sun shade not only provided that but it also, as @Alan Burns mentioned, acted as an insulator from additional heat and cold in the cabin. Moreover, the shade helps in sound dampening. Now, I've never ridden in a vehicle with a electrochromatic glass roof or for that matter any completely glassed roof. I personally would need to find more about these options to decide which option to do with. Better yet would be to experience them in either Rivian EAV hopefully at one of their future Test Drive Program events wherever and whenever that occurs. Honestly, don't think I could decide without it as this is a part of the vehicle you will be living with / experiencing every time you step inside the vehicle.
     
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  18. Jazzyjeff139

    Jazzyjeff139 Member

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    Yup that was me and that’s exactly what I was told !!
     
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  19. jimcgov3

    jimcgov3 Well-Known Member

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    #19 jimcgov3, Jun 17, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2019
    I got the chance to talk to Connor O'Brien and Jeff Hammoud, both in Design Saturday. They said they are still working on a removable option but short of making two many sacrifices, they may scrap it. A fixed glass roof adds a ton of torsional rigidity similar to a metal roof minus the added weight of glass, whereas completely removing whole sections of roof then adding in structural supports... Means added weight and less performance...
     
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  20. skyote

    skyote Well-Known Member

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    Any mention of a sunshade for the glass roof, or thoughts on whether the electrochromatic functions will be enough? I'd still like to see something that could insulate or block potential radiant heat.
     
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