Carwash Of The Future

Published by Austin Gray
July 4, 2020

FRIDEA #8: Car Wash Of The Future

One of my former college teammates came into town last weekend and was updating me on what he's been working on. He's quickly becoming one of the top car wash business brokers in the country. (Currently has 97 locations listed for sale.) Crankin'!

He shared more with me about the business model of the express car washes, and I took note of how these locations are simply nothing other than automatic cash generating MACHINES. As I always do, I put some thought into where the future of this model will go. While I was snowboarding last weekend, I brainstormed a way to solve 2 current problems and combine into one solution...

Problem:


1. A single outdated car wash location can use up to 17 million gallons of water. Yes, you read that right, million. Which is absolutely insane. And completely unsustainable for our already broken water system.

2. If you own (or have test driven) an electric car, you know how big of a pain it is to find a charging station to juice up.

Solution:


Enter GreenWash, a network of sustainable express car wash locations targeted to electric car owners.

GreenWash would consist of 2 solutions to the problems listed above:

1. An integrated closed loop water recycling system. This would ensure minimal water usage and would provide a more sustainable long term solution for car wash locations. “The carwash operator would only need fresh municipal water to make up for the losses that come from evaporation and vehicle carry out.”

2. Electric chargers capable of charging the car in the quick amount of time it takes for an express car wash. From my research, the average express car wash takes roughly 7 minutes. The current electric charging technology allows a Tesla Model 3 Long Range model to charge in 20 minutes.

The ideal combination here would allow for an electric charging connection to the car while the car is moving through the wash cycle.

There's currently a technology gap in the time it takes to charge the car in relation to the time it takes to wash a car. But at the rate of exponential technology advancement, I don't see any reason why this gap wouldn't be closed in the near future.

Once this technology becomes available, you'd just have to figure out a solution to implement enough of these chargers in your system to accommodate the long line of cars begging you for the good ol' Combo Charge & Wash.

After all... when was the last time you saw a dirty Tesla?

Business Model:

(This is a section I realize I've been missing in prior FRIDEA newsletters)

You know me, I'm a huge fan of the MRR (monthly recurring revenue) model and I think this product could easily fit into that. Current car was companies are charging $35 per month for an unlimited amount of washes.

Given the fact that GreenWash would be adding an electric charging element, I don't see any reason why you couldn't charge customers $49/mo. Let's be honest, Tesla customers have disposable income, so maybe you could even push to $99/mo per customer.

What do you think?


Elon Musk has predicted that 50% of the car fleet will be fully electric by 2027. That's in 7 years.

This should be ample time to form a business plan, raise some capital, and start scooping up some "old-school" car washes to redevelop into GreenWash locations.

Given the current state of where our economy looks to be going, I would predict that one could buy some old carwashes for pennies on the dollar throughout the next several years.

What're your thoughts? Am I completely crazy or what? ;)

Ping me on Twitter. Would love to hear what you think.

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