But we weren’t so sure about that. Technology never works as well as it does in the self-promotional marketing videos. (Click here to see Nissan’s.) So we reached out to Eric Wulf, CEO of the International Carwash Association, to see what he thinks about the “world’s first self-cleaning car.” He’s not exactly sold yet.
Here’s what he told us, in an email:
1. Obviously, this has the potential to be a game-changer. But, from the information I’ve reviewed, it is not yet ready for “prime time.”
2. The surface will degrade quicker than the life of the car, so it is probably not a permanent solution. Sun and stones, for example, will degrade its effectiveness.
3. There seem to be some issues with what colors this will work with, and it isn’t yet perfected for all paint types.
4. There are concerns, particularly in the EU, about the health and environmental impacts of some of the processes to create these products (some of which is under the category of “nanotechnology”). Apparently, current testing methods are not necessarily appropriate for some of these substances.
Also, even when/if these substances are perfected, they do not prevent the cars from getting dirty — it only makes it easier for them to be cleaned. So, while rain might rinse much of the dirt from the car, that doesn’t mean there wouldn’t be dirty cars.
We’re curious what car wash business owners think. If you have any experience with these cars, drop us a line.