What do you get when you combine the world’s best-selling zero emission vehicle with innovative paint technology that repels mud, rain and everyday dirt? Answer: a very special Nissan LEAF electric vehicle that might just be 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.
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 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. 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 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.
“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.”
“No matter what the road throws at this LEAF, its Ultra-Ever Dry® exterior coating will throw right back,” said UltraTech International Inc. Chief Executive Officer Mark Shaw. Shaw presented the benefits of superhydrophobic technology and how it creates an “umbrella of air” on a surface at a TED Conference last year.
For 2015, the zero-emissions Nissan LEAF is available in three trim levels: LEAF S, SV and SL, along with option packages offering advanced systems such as Around View® Monitor and seven-speaker Bose® energy-efficient audio and Hands-Free Text Messaging Assistant*. The EPA estimated driving range for LEAF on a fully charged battery is rated at 84 miles and MPGe ratings are 126 City, 101 Highway and 114 Combined.** 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. Charging at home through a 240V charging dock is estimated to take less than five hours with the 6.6 kW onboard charger (less than eight hours with the S grade’s standard 3.6 kW onboard charger). However, charging times may vary.
* Compatible smartphone required. Standard text rates and/or data usage may apply.
**Based on EPA formula of 33.7 kW/hour equal to one gallon of gasoline energy, EPA rated the LEAF® equivalent to 126 MPG measured as gasoline fuel efficiency in city driving, and 101 MPG in highway driving. Actual mileage may vary with driving conditions — use for comparison only. Charging times and range estimates may vary depending on driving/charging habits, weather, temperature and battery age. The 6.6kW onboard charger is a standard feature on SV and SL trims. It is an optional feature on the S trim. 240-V home charging dock is sold separately.