A vehicle’s paint scheme might have more bearing on its performance in the future than just its looks.
Even the very paint used on vehicles will play a key role in the future of electromobility at Audi, thanks to game-changing reflective pigments.
29 September, 2021
The exterior paintwork can ensure that, even when the mercury rises, the interior doesn’t get too hot
There’s an old saying that red cars go faster. There’s no data to back up that claim, but a vehicle’s paint scheme in future could very well have a bearing on its performance. When it comes to electric vehicles, one of the areas attracting attracting attention is that of range.
Getting the most range from a single charge though is not just a matter of shoehorning a bigger battery into a vehicle, but is an amalgamation of factors that all add up to greater efficiency and ultimately greater range.
Along with aerodynamics and tyre characteristics for example, paintwork could be another decisive factor in improving the range of electrically powered Audi vehicles. Take the Audi Q4 e-tron concept as a perfect case in point. The Colour & Trim designers at Audi chose a very special coating for the concept car’s body – called Solar Sky, the shade was developed in collaboration with BASF Coatings.
The exterior paintwork can ensure that, even when the mercury rises, the interior doesn’t get too hot. This is possible thanks to special pigments capable of reflecting shortwave radiation within the sun’s infrared spectrum. Infrared radiation comprises about 50 percent of the sunlight that reaches the Earth’s surface. Most materials absorb these rays, converting them into thermal energy and heating up the object.
Unlike the visible spectrum, infrared light – or thermal radiation – comprises lightwaves that we humans cannot see. But that doesn’t mean we aren’t aware of them. For us, the effects of these rays – the way they heat up a car’s body and other objects—are their key feature, and it’s precisely this effect that the special paintwork is designed to repel.
Since the car’s body does not heat up as much, the interior tends to be cooler and as a result, drivers and passengers can choose to keep the use of air conditioning to a minimum. Because cooling technology is consuming less power, the energy saved can instead be used by other systems. When this ‘freed-up’ energy is redirected to the car’s electric drive, the effect of the paintwork’s pigments in conjunction with limited use of the air conditioner provides not only a pleasantly cool interior but also a greater range from a single battery charge.
In the future, the special Audi exterior paintwork could not only serve as an innovative means of cooling down all-electric models’ interiors when the weather is hot but also broaden the scope for customisation.
Because cooling technology is consuming less power, the energy saved can instead be used by other systems
Want to ensure you always receive the latest news and features from Audi? Subscribe now to the Audi Magazine newsletter.