BMW Created a Color-Changing Electric Car.

Modern cars let drivers change almost everything, from the engine’s sound to the massagers on the seats. At CES 2022, BMW is taking that idea even further with a concept version of its iX electric SUV that has paint that changes color.

E Ink, the same technology used in e-readers, makes the effect happen. BMW says that millions of microcapsules the size of a human hair are hidden in an exterior wrap made from laser-cut electronic paper segments. They have white pigments that are negatively charged and black pigments that are positively charged. Different amounts of each pigment gather on the surface when an electric field is activated. It makes it possible to change the color between black, white, and gray by pressing a button.

While those three colors don’t make for a very exciting color scheme, BMW sees a couple of important applications for this kind of tech. There are more options for personalization when you can change the color of a car right away. According to the company, the ability to do this could even help electric cars run more efficiently.

BMW said that a white surface reflects more sunlight than a black surface does. When it’s hot outside, you could use a white exterior to cool things down or a black surface to keep the heat in during the winter. That means less power from the battery pack is needed to keep the temperature at the right level.

While the BMW iX will be available in the United States later this year, don’t expect to change the color of the paint. In a statement, BMW said that this is only an “advanced research and design project.” It’s unclear how the surface will hold up to the weather, road debris, or car wash.

BMW also showed off a more sporty version of the iX at the CES 2022 trade show. BMW’s new 2023 iX M60 has 610 horsepower in its most aggressive Sport Boost mode, which is a lot more than the standard car has (516 horsepower). That will get this 5,679-pound SUV from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.6 seconds and reach a top speed of 155 mph (with summer tires), says BMW, which makes the SUV. However, the standard iX has more than 300 miles of range, but BMW only expects the M60 to go 280 miles on a charge. Dealerships in the United States are set to get the M60 in June of this year.

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