The popularity of electric cars continues to grow exponentially, as more and more customers come to value their superior efficiency, high-tech design, and eco-friendliness. But with more and more electric cars on the road, car wash businesses may be feeling concerned about catering for this growing market.

The good news is that electric cars can be washed, and car wash businesses can easily expand their services to accommodate electric cars. By accommodating as many different vehicles and customers as possible, you will maximise the profitability of your business. At PSD Codax, we’re committed to helping forecourt operations of all sizes innovate and optimise their services.

Today, our team are here to provide you with a comprehensive overview on everything you need to know about washing an electric car.

Can You Wash an Electric Car?

In short, you can wash an electric vehicle – but there is some nuance to this. Washing an electric car – whether by hand or via a car wash – is no less safe than it would be with a regular vehicle, and for the most part it works exactly the same.

Car manufacturers make sure that all of the electrical components in a vehicle are tightly sealed to prevent any water intrusion, and this is tested ad nauseam before the car ever hits the market. This is referred to as a ‘soak test’, in which a car is completely submerged in water to check its efficacy. In fact, electric cars even outperform their petrol or diesel counterparts during flood situations, due to the propulsion system not having any air intake. No matter whether an electric car is washed by tunnels, rollovers, jet streams, or simply by hand, it will remain completely undamaged.

The chief difference between electric cars and regular cars, as far as car washes are concerned, is that electric cars don’t have a transmission and therefore cannot be put in neutral. This means that not all electric cars can go through all car washes – it depends on the model and what type of wash you operate.

Make electric customers aware of the need to put their cars into neutral – they can do this by consulting their owner’s manual. To take the Nissan Leaf as an example, the car can be put in neutral by pressing the left shift knob and holding it down for a few seconds until the accompanying light turns on. Once the light is illuminated, it is in neutral.

How to Wash an Electric Car

When washing an electric vehicle at your car wash, the process is no different than if it were petrol or diesel. Nowadays, professional car wash services accommodate every kind of car – and your business doesn’t have to be any different. Despite this, the way you approach the wash may not necessarily be the same. Some car washes are fully automatic, whereas others have staff wash the vehicle by hand.

Here are a few things to ask your customers do to before taking their electric car through your wash:

  • When going to an automatic car wash tunnel, check in advance that your vehicle has sufficient battery. Electric motors will be in use throughout the wash, and if you enter the tunnel on low battery, you run the risk of it running out in the middle of the wash.
  • While inside the tunnel, the ignition should be on, and the car should be placed in neutral so that the wheels don’t lock and the drag train can therefore pull the car forward. Automatic functions (such as windscreen wipers) should be disabled and any protruding features (such as mirrors or antennae) should be folded inwards. As with any other car, make sure that your windows and doors are properly closed.
  • As for rollovers and jet washes (pressure sprayers), we recommend turning the engine off and engaging the emergency brake. Just as with automatic tunnels, you should ensure that any protruding features are folded in and accessories removed before the wash begins.

Industry-Leading Car Wash Technologies with PSD Codax

At PSD Codax, we have over 25 years of experience developing forecourt products of only the highest quality. Our innovative and diverse range of products are the most common form of token-free access control in the world. Whether you are an established chain or just setting up an independent car wash, we cater to every type of client in the forecourt trade. We strive to provide operators and customers alike with reliable, intuitive, and fast-acting controllers to ensure the smoothest possible car wash experience.

For more information on our market-leading car wash technology, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our friendly staff today.

Read next: Best Car Wash Maintenance Tips