Once upon a time, self-cleaning ovens were all the rage. Now, Nissan thinks the concept may apply to its vehicles. And the Japanese vehicle maker is testing it out on some of its Leaf battery-electric vehicles Europe, no less.

Nissan says its trying out what's called a "superhydrophobic and oleophobic" paint on Leaf battery-electric vehicles for testing and demonstration purposes. The paint, produced by UltraTech International Inc., is designed to repel splats of liquid such as oil or standing water away from the car's surface. The paint, called Ultra-Ever Dry, does this by creating what Nissan says is a layer of air around the vehicle surface. We imagine there's a detailed chemical explanation for this phenomenon that would better explain this process, but that's the best way we can explain it.

Right now, Nissan is pitching the product testing as a way to further the Leaf's reputation as what the automaker calls "the world's cleanest car." That said, the paint hasn't been tested in North America, and no plans have been made to add the feature as either a standard or optional goodie for the battery-electric vehicle. Still, go ahead and check out Nissan's press release on the magic paint below.
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Nissan Creates "World's Cleanest Car" – a Zero Emissions Nissan LEAF with Self-Cleaning Nano-Paint Technology

For LEAF owners who never qualify for gas stations' "Free Car Wash with Purchase" offers, this technical study might be the perfect solution

July 09, 2014 10:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time

NASHVILLE, Tenn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--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."

"No matter what the road throws at this LEAF, its Ultra-Ever Dry® exterior coating will throw right back"

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.
About Nissan North America
In North America, Nissan's operations include automotive styling, engineering, consumer and corporate financing, sales and marketing, distribution and manufacturing. Nissan is dedicated to improving the environment under the Nissan Green Program and has been recognized as an ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. More information on Nissan in North America and the complete line of Nissan and Infiniti vehicles can be found online at www.NissanUSA.com and www.InfinitiUSA.com, or visit the Americas media sites NissanNews.com and InfinitiNews.com.
About Nissan
Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., Japan's second-largest automotive company, is headquartered in Yokohama, Japan, and is part of the Renault-Nissan Alliance. Operating with more than 236,000 employees globally, Nissan sold more than 4.9 million vehicles and generated revenue of 9.6 trillion yen (USD 116.16 billion) in fiscal 2012. Nissan delivers a comprehensive range of over 60 models under the Nissan and Infiniti brands. In 2010, Nissan introduced the Nissan LEAF, and continues to lead in zero-emission mobility. The LEAF, the first mass-market, pure-electric vehicle launched globally, is now the best-selling EV in history.
For more information on our products, services and commitment to sustainable mobility, visit our website at http://www.nissan-global.com/EN/.