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The end of car washing?

Nissan prototype features innovative self-cleaning paint finish

Published: April 28, 2014, 2:00 AM
Updated: November 26, 2014, 3:35 AM

Nissan Self-Cleaning Car

Are you one of those people for whom car washing is the next thing to a sacred ritual? Or do you consider it just another necessary chore demanding of your time.

If the latter, Nissan is experimenting with a new technology designed for people just like you.

The company has begun tests in Europe on an innovative paint technology called Ultra-Ever Dry that repels mud, rain and everyday dirt, meaning drivers may never have to clean their car again.

Categorized as a super-hydrophobic and oleophobic paint, it is said to repel water and oil without washing. By creating a protective layer of air between the paint and environment, it effectively stops standing water and road spray from creating dirty marks on the car's surface.

Engineers at Nissan Technical Centre Europe have applied the paint to a European-market Note to assess its real-world effectiveness as a potential aftermarket application. They will be testing the self-cleaning Note in a variety of conditions over the coming months.

So far, the company says, it has responded well to common use cases including rain, spray, frost, sleet and standing water.

There are no current plans for production application of the technology but Nissan says it will consider the coating technology as a future aftermarket option.

One question lingers, however: won't the parts of the car not covered by paint still have to be washed?