Nissan tests a car that cleans itself

Nissan describes the coating as a “specially engineered super-hydrophobic and oleophobic paint” that repels “mud, rain and everyday dirt, meaning drivers may never have to clean their car again.”
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NASHVILLE -- No more car washes?

Nissan is experimenting with a “self-cleaning” car that uses a new coating technology to help repel rain, oil and grime.

Researchers at the Nissan's European technical center in England are testing the coating on a Note subcompact. But a statement released by the company Thursday said it is considering the technology only as a dealer aftermarket option -- not as a factory standard paint.

The technology, marketed by UltraTech International, is called Ultra-Ever Dry.

Nissan describes the coating as a “specially engineered super-hydrophobic and oleophobic paint” that repels “mud, rain and everyday dirt, meaning drivers may never have to clean their car again.”

According to the statement, the concept works by “creating a protective layer of air between the paint and environment,” which Nissan says “stops standing water and road spray from creating dirty marks on the car’s surface.”

In 2007, Nissan introduced a coating on the Infiniti EX and FX under the name “Scratch Shield” that it referred to as a self-healing paint. That coating -- which is no longer being marketed -- retained a low level of fluidity that would gradually fill in scratches as it reacted with sunlight.

Nissan's self-cleaning prototype

You can reach Lindsay Chappell at lchappell@crain.com.

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