New BMW technology can change car colour to ‘boost the efficiency’ of vehicles01/06/2022
BMW iX Flow: A look at the colour changing car
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The BMW iX Flow is made possible by a special body wrap for the all-electric Sports Activity vehicle. They warn the innovative ink will open “new ways” of changing the vehicle’s appearance in line with drive preferences.
BMW said drivers can choose from a “wide colour spectrum” and confirmed new variants will be added every year.
This will allow the brand to “keep setting trends” in the area of exterior vehicle design.
Stella Clarke, Head of Project for the BMW iX Flow featuring E Ink warns the technology will allow vehicles to express drivers “moods and circumstances”.
She said: “This gives the driver the freedom to express different facets of their personality or even their enjoyment of change outwardly, and to redefine this each time they sit into their car.
“Similar to fashion or the status ads on social media channels, the vehicle then becomes an expression of different moods and circumstances in daily life.”
BMW has also claimed the colour change feature will help boost the efficiency of the vehicle.
BMW says a white surface will reflect more heat and sunlight than a darker colour.
This means the temperature in the car and passenger compartments could be reduced in the summer by switching to a lighter colour.
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Alternatively, switching to a darker skin colour will help the vehicle absorb more warmth from the sun.
In both cases, selective colour changes can help cut the amount of cooling and heating required from the vehicle
This will reduce the amount of energy the vehicle’s electrical system needs and also help reduce vehicle fuel consumption.
Frank Weber, Member of the Board of Management at BMW said the changes are a way to bring the “real and virtual” worlds closer together.
He said: “Digital experiences won’t just be limited to displays in the future.
“There will be more and more melding of the real and virtual.
“With the BMW iX Flow, we are bringing the car body to life.”
BMW said the new technology will “provide a whole new level of decision-making in the future as a result of the colour changes.
The tool works by using millions of paint capsules in a custom wrap around the vehicle.
BMW said: “The surface coating of the BMW iX Flow featuring E Ink contains many millions of microcapsules, with a diameter equivalent to the thickness of a human hair.
“Each of these microcapsules contains negatively charged white pigments and positively charged black pigments.
“Depending on the chosen setting, stimulation by means of an electrical field causes either the white or the black pigments to collect at the surface of the microcapsule, giving the car body the desired shade.”
Adrian van Hooydonk, Head of BMW Group Design said: “The BMW iX Flow is an advanced research and design project and a great example of the forward-thinking that BMW is known for.”
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