Self-Cleaning Leaf

How about combining a vehicle that doesn’t use any fuel with special paint technology that cleans itself?

Nissan did so by creating a very special Nissan LEAF electric vehicle that could be considered the “world’s cleanest car.”

Created to demonstrate its potential use in future production vehicles, this Nissan LEAF’s exterior was treated with a specially engineered superhydrophobic and oleophobic paint that is designed to repel water and oils.

Nissan explained the “self-cleaning” paint, called Ultra-Ever Dry, creates a protective layer of air between the paint and environment, effectively stopping standing water and road spray from creating dirty marks on the LEAF’s surface. Nissan said it is one of the first carmakers to apply this technology to a vehicle.

The coating, which is being marketed and sold by UltraTech International Inc., has been undergoing testing by engineers at Nissan Technical Center Europe. The company stated so far it has responded well to common-use cases including rain, spray, frost, sleet and standing water.

While there are currently no plans for the technology to be applied to Nissan vehicles as standard equipment, Nissan said it will continue to consider the coating technology as a future aftermarket option.

For the North American demonstration, the paint is featured on a white Nissan Leaf.

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“The 100 percent electric Leaf provides the perfect canvas for this new, advanced paint technology,” said Pierre Loing, vice president, Product Planning, Nissan North America, Inc. “This is one LEAF that never has to stop at gas stations – not even for a car wash.”

For 2015, the Nissan Leaf is available in three trim levels: LEAF S, SV and SL. The EPA estimated driving range for the Leaf on a fully charged battery is rated at 84 miles and MPGe ratings are 126 City, 101 Highway and 114 Combined. The Nissan LEAF can be charged up to 80 percent of its full capacity in 30 minutes when equipped with a quick charge port and using a fast charger.