Magical exterior colour-change: The BMW iX Flow featuring E Ink

Magical exterior colour-change: The BMW iX Flow featuring E Ink

Digitisation is delivering an integrated user experience characterised by individuality and emotionalisation in the interior of current BMW models. The My Modes allow the driver to tailor the atmosphere in the interior entirely to their personal mood and the driving experience they want. With the BMW iX Flow featuring E Ink being presented on the occasion of CES 2022, the Munich-based premium car manufacturer is offering the prospect of a future technology that uses digitisation to also adapt the exterior of a vehicle to different situations and individual wishes. The surface of the BMW iX Flow featuring E Ink can vary its shade at the driver’s prompting.

How a variable exterior colour can increase efficiency.

A variable exterior colour can also contribute to wellness in the interior and to the efficiency of the vehicle. This is done by taking account of the different abilities of light and dark colours when it comes to reflecting sunlight and the associated absorption of thermal energy. A white surface reflects a lot more sunlight than a black one. By implication, heating of the vehicle and passenger compartment as a result of strong sunlight and high outside temperatures can be reduced by changing the exterior to a light colour. In cooler weather, a dark outer skin will help the vehicle to absorb noticeably more warmth from the sun.

In both cases, selective colour changes can help to cut the amount of cooling and heating required from the vehicle’s air conditioning. This reduces the amount of energy the vehicle electrical system needs and with it also the vehicle’s fuel or electricity consumption. In an all-electric car, changing the colour in line with the weather can therefore also help to increase the range. In the interior, the technology could, for example, prevent the dashboard from heating up too much.

E Ink technology itself is extremely energy efficient. Unlike displays or projectors, the electrophoretic technology needs absolutely no energy to keep the chosen colour state constant. Current only flows during the short colour changing phase.

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