Color-Changing BMW iX Flow Is One Of TIME Magazine's Best Inventions Of 2022

Technology / 6 Comments

The Ford F-150 Lightning and Lucid Air were also recognized.

Make of its appearance what you will, but the BMW iX is easily one of the best electric SUVs in the world. It's also one of the most technologically advanced, having taken home our own Tech Lover's Dream award last year as part of the 2021 CarBuzz Awards, and now the iX has received another tech-related accolade.

TIME magazine has released its list of Best Inventions of 2022, and the BMW iX Flow made the list thanks to its revolutionary color-changing E-Ink body, with the publication dubbing it the "chameleon car." Watching a vehicle change color right before your eyes - even if it's limited to grayscale - never fails to amaze, and TIME agreed. The iX Flow's party trick made the list based on factors like originality, ambition, efficacy, and impact.


Revealed at the Consumer Electronics Show 2022 in Las Vegas, E-Ink allows you to change the vehicle color at the touch of a button. Based on electrophoretic color technology, the surface coating of the iX Flow with E-Ink contains millions of microcapsules. These have a thickness that BMW says is equivalent to a strand of human hair. Each microcapsule has both negatively charged white pigments and positively charged black pigments, and through stimulation via an electrical field, this allows the color to change. This has many potential applications.

In an electric vehicle where energy conservation is so important, changing color in accordance with the weather can actually boost range. For example, the heating system can work more efficiently in hot conditions if the exterior is white, as more sunlight will be reflected.


E-Ink technology itself is said to be highly energy efficient. Whereas displays or projectors need energy to retain their chosen color state, electrophoretic technology does not.

But the BMW iX was not the only automotive star that made the publication's top innovations for 2022. The Ford F-150 Lightning was praised for making electric trucks mainstream, the Lucid Air was celebrated for being a "next-level electric car," and the Sion minivan from Sono Motors made the cut for its innovative solar-powered batteries.

As impressive as all these vehicles have been, BMW's E-Ink tech must be one of the ultimate automotive crowd-pleasing technologies seen over the last 12 months. If it ever reaches production, expect to pay a pretty penny for it, though.


Join The Discussion



Related Cars

To Top