Nissan Goes ‘Clean’

In more than one sense of the word. Here in Malaysia (where Automology is based), the folks living in the Klang Valley have been subj...

In more than one sense of the word.

Here in Malaysia (where Automology is based), the folks living in the Klang Valley have been subjected to water rationing after the dam that supplies water to the most populous area in the country receded to dangerously low levels. While the authorities have yet to ban activities that consume large volumes of water, the public has been discouraged from wasting water, and yes, that includes washing our cars. This is why this piece of news caught our eye - a self-cleaning car! The paint technology was developed and is still being tested by Nissan, but if it works as well as they claim, then Nissan car owners might not have to wash their cars…ever again!

The Japanese automaker describes it as a “super-hydrophobic and oleophobic paint”, characteristics that will allow water, dirt, oils, frost or sleet to simply slide right off. Essentially, the coating creates a protective layer of air between the paint and the environment. The paint has been applied to one of the all-new Nissan Note and is being tested in the carmaker’s Testing Centre in Europe. So far, it appears promising: 



While we doubt that Nissan will make this a standard feature for all of its cars, it will most probably be available as an aftermarket option; maybe cars of other marques can also drive up to a Nissan service centre to get this protective coat sprayed on, and it will be yet another opportunity to convert non-Nissan car owners into Nissan enthusiasts.

Nissan is also going ‘clean’ outside of Europe, in another sense of the word, namely in the paradisaical land of Bhutan. Carlos Ghosn, CEO of Nissan Motor Corporation, presented two of its all-electric Leafs to the country, which is extremely protective of its natural wonders, in honour of the King’s birthday last February, with promise to supply more for the government and taxi fleets. So, a country that is relatively devoid of modern technology now has the most advanced vehicles in the world. 

The Leaf moseying in Bhutan
For the electric vehicle naysayers who contend that EVs are still powered by earth-polluting electricity generation, this would be an ideal situation. Bhutan’s electricity is largely generated from run-of-the-river hydroelectricity, which relies on the natural flow of rivers without the need to flood large tracts of forestland. The country generates more electricity than it uses; the excess is sold to its neighbour, India. Copious coal reserves lie within the land, which are mined mindfully. In fact, the government does not intend to rely on its fossil fuel resources at all, and is already looking into increasing solar and wind power generation.

Perhaps this is why Nissan is pursuing a partnership with the country, which population of less than 750 000 would not entail large sales volume, but share a similar vision of achieving zero-emission. Nissan will work with Thunder Motors, a local R&D firm, to design EVs tailored for driving conditions in the mountainous country, but Nissan is not the only manufacturer of EVs that want in in this sanctuary. India’s Mahindra Reva has also signed a similar MoU with Bhutan, and it will not be surprising if other EV manufacturers will follow suit.

images: salon.com

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