a bmw transformed by color changing ‘e ink’


today at CES 2022, BMW demonstrated an entirely new technology which wraps its vehicles in a color changing exterior. with the use of innovative digitization, a potential driver can transform a vehicle according to various situations and their shifting moods. the scheme is called E Ink, and was presented on the all-electric BMW iX flow.


the fluid color changes, offered in a wide spectrum, are made possible by a specially developed body wrap that is tailored precisely to the contours of the all-electric sports activity vehicle from BMW. when stimulated by electrical signals, the electrophoretic technology brings different color pigments to the surface, causing the body skin to take on the desired coloration. head of BMW group design adrian van hooydonk comments: ‘the BMW iX flow is an advanced research and design project and a great example of the forward thinking that BMW is known for.’

BMW debuts its electric iX flow with fluidly color-changing 'E Ink'images courtesy of BMW



BMW’s magical demonstration at CES 2022


the innovative E Ink technology by BMW (see more here) opens completely new ways of changing the vehicle’s appearance in line with the driver’s aesthetic preferences, the environmental conditions or even functional requirements. the technology thus offers unprecedented potential for personalization in the area of exterior design. the BMW iX flow featuring E Ink demonstrates this potential to impressive effect. against this background, the BMW group is driving the development of the technology so that a new form of personalization can be experienced both on the outside and in the inside of future production vehicles.





the many benefits of a color changing car


in addition to expressing the personality of the driver, a variable exterior color can also contribute to the efficiency of the vehicle. this is done by taking account of the different abilities of light and dark colors 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 color. in cooler weather, a dark outer skin will help the vehicle to absorb noticeably more warmth from the sun.


either way, selective color 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 color 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 color state constant. current only flows during the short color changing phase.

BMW debuts its electric iX flow with fluidly color-changing 'E Ink'



how it works


as the team explains, electrophoretic coloring is based on a technology developed by E Ink that is most well-known from the displays used in eReaders. 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.

BMW debuts its electric iX flow with fluidly color-changing 'E Ink'



achieving this effect on a vehicle body involves the application of many precisely fitted epaper segments. generative design processes are implemented to ensure the segments reflect the characteristic contours of the vehicle and the resulting variations in light and shadow. the generative design algorithms enable the necessary formability and flexibility required to tailor the epaper exactly to the design lines of the vehicle.


laser cutting technologies guarantee high precision in generating each segment. after the segments are applied and the power supply for stimulating the electrical field is connected, the entire body is warmed and sealed to guarantee optimum and uniform color reproduction during every color change.