Up until now, cars haven’t been completely customisable. Sure, you can spec it according to taste and choose a hue from the catalogue on the dealer’s desk, but not much more. Now BMW has revealed a concept version of its iX electric SUV at CES 2022 that can change its colour on demand.
This is thanks to a type of colour-changing paint that’s similar to the e-ink used in Kindle displays and other e-readers.
BMW’s gone and made a chameleon
— Out of Spec Studios (@Out_of_Spec) January 4, 2022
The concept BMW iX Flow is covered in millions of ‘microcapsules’ that are made from laser-cut electronic paper segments, according to the company. These have the ability to hold negatively charged white pigments and positively charged black pigments. The change in colour is prompted by an electric field that’s activated.
All you need to know is that this is a type of vehicle ‘wrap’ that’s constructed out of the same material used in e-readers. It’s then used to change the hue of the car from light to dark, including white, grey and black colour options.
Of course, this means that users won’t have the ability to actually tailor the vehicle’s colour to their personality, or opt for their favourite colour. You have three colour choices, and there’s no need to head to the spraypainter when you’re keen on a new look.
BMW has even claimed that the technology can help make an EV more efficient – and it’s simple, really. A lighter surface will reflect more light, which will help cool the cabin on the inside. Shifting to white will allow the driver to cool the cabin on a hot day without even touching the AC controls.
In the same breath, a black outer will help retain heat during the cold winter months, also eliminating the need for AC.
Stuff is currently testing the non-chameleon BMW iX that’s set to arrive in South Africa later this year. Keep an eye out for our review.