Why Nissan's Self-Cleaning 'Ultra-Ever Dry' Car Paint Should Terrify The Car-Wash Industry

A brand-new invention should terrify you if you work in the car wash industry — a Nissan-engineered self-cleaning paint called Ultra-Ever Dry. Nissan says the paint is both resistant to water and oils, and its first demonstration seems to have been a striking success. Nissan's plan is to offer the dynamic new paint as an after-market addition, though it's not available to be pre-loaded on their vehicles.

This could be a major source of stress, and financial risk, for anybody who draws a paycheck through the need for clean cars. If Nissan were offering this as an buy-in option when purchasing a new car, the technology could at least remain a staple of their brand. By planning its release as a post-purchase upgrade, they've essentially put the entire car wash industry between the crosshairs, as cars of any make, model or year could theoretically get a coat of this new super-paint.

This isn't on the horizon yet, however. Nissan Europe is the only company working on Ultra-Ever Dry right now, and will be testing it over the course of the next several months under various driving conditions. There's no word yet of it being brought stateside, even when the testing is done, so there's likely a while before Americans will even have the chance to buy it.

It's also true that nobody yet knows what the paint will cost, and given the impressive technology involved — it uses nanotechnology to create a thin layer of air between the surface of the paint and it's surroundings — a hefty price tag seems likely. As it ages and becomes more prevalent, however, even that will almost surely change. In short, the car wash as we've known it may have just received a slow death sentence.

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And that's no laughing matter — as cited by the The Detroit News, more than 130,000 people are employed in the car wash industry, and it generates about $23 billion annually. They used to be able to count on 97 percent of Americans washing their cars at least once per year. How low could that figure reasonably drop, before things really go south?