The first consumer devices using E Ink’s color electronic paper were released in late 2020, but BMW isn’t taking advantage of that technology just yet. For now the upgraded BMW iX Flow relies on black and white electronic paper to adjust the vehicle’s external finish from darker to brighter. It’s a neat trick, but also a practical way to improve the vehicle’s efficiency. On a hot summer day the vehicle’s finish can be flipped to white to reflect the sun’s rays and help keep the interior cooler with less demand on the air conditioner, while in the cold winter flipping it to black would have the opposite effect, absorbing heat from the sun helping to naturally keep the vehicle warmer inside.
Gas-powered cars already produce plenty of heat as a by-product of combustion that’s used to warm a vehicle, but an electric car needs to solely rely on heaters to keep occupants warm which can be very power-hungry. An electric car that’s able to absorb sunlight could, at least in theory, help extend the vehicle’s battery life and range.
Will we see E Ink-wrapped vehicles debuting any time soon? Probably not. Fixing an unsightly paint scratch on a vehicle is easy enough, but fixing a damaged electronic paper panel is considerably more challenging and expensive. When we eventually take human drivers out of the equation on public roads this idea might be more feasible, but it probably won’t take long for advertisers to clue in and inevitably turn every E Ink-wrapped autonomous vehicle into a rolling billboard plastered in rotating advertisements.Источник: Lifehacker