World's first self-cleaning car

BERLIN/TOKYO - Japanese carmaker Nissan has come up with what it claims to be the world's first self-cleaning paintwork which can repel mud and everyday dirt.

The technology could make washing a car redundant. Tests using a white Nissan Note compact showed the car emerging from a test run along mud-streaked tracks with pristine paintwork and no dirt particles clinging to the shiny surfaces.

The repellant coating has been developed by United States company UltraTech International. Applied to the paint surface, it creates a microscopic layer of air between the paint and the environment.

Nissan said trials in all weather have proved promising. "It works very well," said Nissan Germany spokesman Alexander Sellei. A decision on offering the paint as an aftermarket option has not yet been made.

German chemical firm Evonik is meanwhile working on a scratch-resistant paint surface which would reduce the micro-scratches which often result from the revolving brushes used in commercial automatic car wash facilities. Several car companies have shown interest, said the Essen-based company.

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