Do Color-Changing Cars Exist?

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Lisa Steuer McArdle
Updated on Apr 27, 2022 · 4 min read
The future of
car ownership
is promising to be anything but boring. Soon, drivers may have the opportunity to easily change the appearance of what they drive. 
Like magic, a dull gray
sports car
could be transformed into the red one you always wanted. It is a fantasy-inspiring scenario that might not be as far off as you think.
technology in the automotive industry
would redefine the idea of car customization. It is already in the works. Several auto manufacturing giants are experimenting with different kinds of car paint and materials to create color-changing cars
Color-changing cars are not so far out of reach.

What kind of paint is used on color-changing cars?

There are several color-shifting
paint options
on the horizon. Though still in the developmental stage in the automobile industry, both luminescent and heat-sensitive paint-changing technologies actually already exist. Engineers are busy designing complex paint formulas they hope will create unique visuals and intriguing transformations.
Electroluminescent paint has the ability to light up a surface when energized. Using multiple layers, the pigments in the paint system itself react to electrical currents, causing it to emit light. There are two major electroluminescent paint brands available on the market today, according to
Dean's Autoglass
One of the most popular brands is Lumilor. The sprayable electroluminescent coating paint system comes in a wide range of colors only seen when exposed to current. Before it is, the paint shows as a dull gray. 
LitCoat, on the other hand, reacts to changes in temperature as well as electric currents. Thermochromic color-changing car paints like ChromaFlair are activated solely based on temperature.

How close are we to seeing color-changing cars on the roads? 

What once seemed like just wild imaginings of sci-fi fiction writers is now closer to reality. Color-changing cars are not so far out of reach. 
Rapidly developing technology and advancements are propelling the car color-shifting game forward at great speed. According to the
National Motorists Association
, the technology could be achievable within the next several years.
German automaker Audi has taken the lead with its Audi A9 concept car. The outrageously cool
luxury sports car
was designed by Spanish car designer Daniel Garcia specifically as a practical demonstration. It is a visionary concept where nanotechnology material can potentially change color and even repair itself.
Color-changing technologies are not new to other industries. You might remember the mood ring that magically changed color while worn. The stone in the ring contained thermochromic crystals reactive to finger temperature. 
The science behind the mood ring could be useful to automakers. But there is still a lot of research and testing to be done before drivers will be able to change their car color at the touch of a button. 

How will color-changing technology affect the auto industry?

The introduction of innovative color-changing technology in the auto industry will certainly make a difference in how manufacturers approach consumer buying. Drivers might opt to
hang on to their current models
a little longer once they can customize the appearance of their own cars. 
It will require automobile manufacturers to change marketing strategies and find novel ways to get consumers to the sales floor for a new purchase. Emphasis will have to be placed on other positive vehicle points, including brand recognition, reliability, and technological features and accessories. Manufacturers could alternatively raise prices to make up for lower sales.
Potential buyers' shift in focus away from choosing a car model by appearance will prompt creative marketing incentives by manufacturers. Yet for the consumer, color-changing car technology offers an exciting glimpse into how much fun driving in the future might be.
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