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VIDEO: BMW shows off Color-Changing car at the CES 2022

BMW iX Flow color changing car
Image: Video Screenshot

Changing the color of a car with the push of a button may sound like science fiction, but the technology to do so has been in development for well over a decade. It has yet to enter mass production, but BMW’s new iX Flow concept demonstrates that at least one automaker is working to make it a reality. The iX Flow, which debuted at CES 2022, can switch from grey to white color as seen in the video below.

The iX Flow’s color-changing exterior is achieved through the use of E Ink, the same material that powers the paper-like displays of e-readers such as the Amazon Kindle. BMW wrapped the iX in a custom wrap containing millions of microcapsules of E Ink. Each capsule contains negatively charged white pigments as well as positively charged black pigments. An electrical field then causes the white or black pigments to collect at the surface of the microcapsules.

Changing from grey to white may not appear to be a huge accomplishment, but the simple color-changing palette has real-world applications right now. According to BMW, changing the car color from white to grey can help heat or cool the interior depending on the season. Reflecting the hot rays of the summer sun with the white exterior may make it easier to cool while absorbing all of the warmth of the winter sun, whereas the darker shade may reduce the time required to heat the interior on a cold morning.

The electrophoretic technology is also energy efficient, as the current only needs to flow when the colour is changed. BMW promotes the technology as a way for owners to express themselves more freely, comparing it to a fashion or status symbol. BMW hasn’t said whether the technology will ever be available on a production vehicle, but it’d be a great feature to charge $15 a month for access to.



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Jike Eric

Jike Eric has completed his degree program in Chemical Engineering. Jike covers Business and Tech news on Insider Paper.

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