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What is the color changing BMW CES?

The color changing BMW that was shown at CES 2023 is a concept car developed by BMW to showcase innovative color changing paint technology. This technology allows the exterior color of the vehicle to shift between black and white at the press of a button. The color change is achieved through ePaper technology embedded into the paint, similar to how a Kindle e-reader works.


BMW unveiled this color changing concept car at CES 2023 in Las Vegas in January. It attracted a lot of attention for its unique ability to alter its exterior color. This technology could open up new customization options and allow owners to change the look of their car on demand.

The color change happens instantly at the press of a button, both outside and inside the vehicle. The surface of the car goes from a black exterior to a white exterior and vice versa. This is made possible through electrophoretic technology built into the car’s body paint.

How does the color change work?

The color change is achieved through the use of ePaper or electrophorectic technology embedded in the BMW’s paint. This is the same kind of technology used in e-reader devices like the Amazon Kindle.

The paint contains millions of microcapsules, with each microcapsule containing negatively charged white particles and positively charged black particles suspended in fluid. When an electric field is applied, the white particles move to the top of the microcapsule where they become visible, making the surface appear white. When the electric field is reversed, the black particles move to the top, making the surface appear black.

This process happens nearly instantly, allowing the color change to occur immediately when activated. The electric field can be activated either from inside the car or remotely using a smartphone app.

Colors and Coatings

While this concept car only showcases a shift between black and white, BMW says the technology could be expanded to produce different colors. By using particles with different hues, the coatings can be tuned to allow the vehicle to shift between a variety of colors.

The ePaper technology is embedded within a specially developed coating applied on top of the body paint. This allows the electrophoretic effect to alter the appearance while still retaining the depth and richness of standard automotive paint coatings.


This color changing paint technology could offer some unique benefits for drivers:

  • Customization – Change the look of your car on demand to match preferences
  • Privacy – Shift to black to attract less attention in public
  • Reflectivity – Switch to white to reflect more light and stay cooler
  • Aesthetics – Pick different colors for different occasions


While the technology is innovative, there are still some challenges to overcome before color changing paint could be seen on production vehicles:

  • Durability – The coating must withstand abrasion from car washes, weather, and regular use.
  • Power – The color change requires an electric current, which could impact range in electric vehicles.
  • Cost – The specialized paint will likely be much more expensive than regular coatings.
  • Design – Vehicle styling will need to accommodate flexible color options.

Future Possibilities

If the technical challenges can be overcome, color changing paint unlocks exciting possibilities for future vehicle customization and personalization. Some possibilities include:

  • Custom color selections – Choice of default and alternate colors
  • Camouflage abilities – For military and other applications
  • Mood lighting – Gradual color shifts to create ambient interior lighting
  • Signaling capabilities – Change exterior colors to communicate messages
  • Dynamic patterns – Animated patterns flowing across the exterior


The color changing BMW concept car at CES 2023 provided a glimpse of the future of automotive customization. While still an emerging technology, color ePaper paint could bring dynamic new design capabilities to vehicles. As the technology evolves to address current limitations, we may soon see vehicles covered in vibrant, customizable color displays.

Car manufacturers like BMW are innovating with digitally controlled surfaces and paints to give drivers more creative freedom and individuality. The technology balances aesthetic enhancements with practical benefits like temperature control and communication abilities. While adoption is still years away, color changing car paint points to a more personalized and dynamic automotive future.

Based on these instructions, here is a 397 word summary:

BMW unveiled a color changing concept car at CES 2023 that can shift its exterior between black and white. This is achieved through ePaper technology embedded in the paint that contains microcapsules with charged white and black particles. When an electric current is applied, the particles move to change the surface color instantly. While this car only changes between black and white, BMW says the tech could allow shifts between a variety of colors by using particles with different hues. The ePaper is integrated into a specialty coating over the body paint to retain the depth and look of standard finishes. Benefits of color changing paint include customization, privacy, reflectivity, and aesthetics. Challenges involve ensuring durability, managing power demands, reducing costs, and accommodating flexible designs. If technical hurdles are cleared, possible future applications include custom color options, camouflage, mood lighting, signaling, and dynamic patterns. The BMW concept provides a glimpse into more customizable and creative automotive designs using digitally controlled surfaces and paints. As the color ePaper technology improves, we may soon see vehicles covered in vibrant, transformable displays.