The electric vehicle (EV) market is known for being a dynamic industry, with its ever evolving with new technologies and designs. With so much exciting news coming out it can be hard to keep up, so here are some of the biggest bits of EV news in the last few weeks.
BMW iX Flow: Chameleon car
Last week, BMW unveiled the first ever colour changing electric car at the Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show. This SUV now has the nickname of the ‘chameleon car’, as it can shift from black, grey and white (there are even options to add racing stripes to the front bonnet) with just the click on a button when it’s synced to an app on your phone. This was based on the technology known as E-ink, which is used for e-readers such as the Amazon Kindle, which brings up different pigments to the surface of the material, effectively changing colour, in order to adapt to lighting conditions.
A BMW representative explained that this works by applying an electric charge to the microcapsules suspended in liquid, which is encased in the material, which has been adapted into a 3D, flexible material which could then be made into a wrap for the new iX Flow. BMW claims it’s highly energy efficient, and it just needs a small amount of energy to change colour and none to retain it.
Dr Stella Clarke, who worked as project lead on this project, also mentioned that this technology is available in more colours, including blue, red and green and yellow. Additionally, she also mentioned that this technology isn’t limited to swapping between two different colours, stating that there is technology out there that could give the option of up to four different shades, meaning in a few years it may very be possible that electric vehicle owners have even more options to customise their cars. Currently, there does not seem to be any tangible benefits other than the options of customisation, and there is no word on when it will be available to consumers or how much this might cost.
Sony Vision S 02
Sony recently revealed their second prototype electric car at the Consumer Electronics Show, the Sony Vision S 02. Along with the first look at the Vision S 02, Sony also officially confirmed their EV branch to their business, henceforth known as Sony Mobility Inc.
In 2020 when Sony first showed their first prototype saloon Vision S, it was praised for its design, and of course there was talk that their infotainment screens would most likely be impeccable. The Vision S 02 seems to be a further continuation of the development of Sony’s EV venture, by expanding to a 7-seater SUV, most likely to capture the part of the market that’s more focused on practicality.
There are a fair number of similarities in terms of style and design, features like the headlights may very well be a signature design feature for future releases from the brand. Like the Vision S, the design of this new prototype model feels futuristic and minimal,
While all the details have yet to be released, Sony have confirmed the Vision S 02 will have a 200KW motor. Sony has stated their primary focus with these prototypes is the safety aspects of their autonomous driving technology, most likely to rival Tesla’s Autopilot feature.
It could definitely be a direct competitor to cars like the Audi eTron, Mercedes EQS and Tesla Model X. At the time of writing this, a release date hasn’t been announced and as it still is at a prototype stage it may take another year or two. Sony has also yet to confirm what the price will be.
Porsche Taycan Outsold 911 in 2021
Porsche had a fantastic year in 2021, selling more than 300,000 cars and more than doubled their sales of EVs. Even though the iconic 911 model increased in popularity that same year, there was a dramatic increase in sales of their electric cars, with an increase 106% more EVs sold in 2021 compared to the previous year. Notably, this means that the Taycan is now officially the third most popular Porsche vehicle. It will be interesting to see if the electric version of the Macan will come close to this record.
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