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Davis, California

Friday, May 24, 2024

New innovative eco-friendly car wash opens in Davis

Sunny’s Car Wash opens first location on Mace Boulevard, offering environmentally conscious car, bike and dog wash services

 

By ALEXANDRA SHAPIRO city@theaggie.org 

 

Friday, May 3 was the grand opening of Sunny’s Car Wash, a new sustainable and innovative car wash in Davis. The business is located at 480 Mace Blvd.

Evan Lyon’s journey to owning Sunny’s Car Wash is deeply rooted in his upbringing in Davis. Born and raised in Davis, Lyon was immersed in the automotive industry thanks to his family’s business.

Listening to his mother’s frustration of driving out of town to get her car washed, only to return with it dirtied again, Lyon saw an opportunity to address a local need. With the inefficiency of commercial gas station car washes came the idea for a locally owned and efficient car wash.

Despite initial skepticism from others who saw it as just another car wash, Lyon was determined to create something unique through precise planning and attention to detail.

“We took a lot of time, effort and energy to make [Sunny’s] not look or act like another normal car wash,” Lyon said.

Identifying the need in Davis was just the beginning. Sunny’s Car Wash took four and a half years from concept to reality after securing a location, dealing with permits and undergoing construction.

Securing land with automotive commercial zoning in Davis was pivotal for Sunny’s. Finding available land in Davis is challenging, yet Sunny’s team found a parcel without rezoning, thanks to supportive landowners.

Sunny’s 10-month-long construction began in June of last year.

“[We were] extremely fortunate to secure [the land] and get to where we are,” Lyon said.

Guests are welcomed at the pay station, where digital menus, helpful employees and cameras facilitate transactions. The pay station has three lanes, with one dedicated to members, and a license plate scanner that ensures swift entry of approximately three seconds.

Once pulled into the 140-foot conveyor, a Sunny’s team member will guide you in positioning your car. Advanced computer programming guarantees that every step of the wash is timed appropriately while the tunnel monitors the vehicle’s speed and dimensions. Sunny’s sensors can even detect features like roof racks and truck beds, ensuring vehicle safety. Everything has a “brain” at Sunny’s, according to Lyon.

Sunny’s Car Wash is enjoyable, with vibrant changing lights and colorful soaps and foams that make the experience exciting.

Sunny’s commitment to delivering technologically advanced washes is clear, from noise-reducing vacuum separators to precise timing switches. Premium products ensure a spot-free rinse with carefully formulated pH levels adapted for seasonal differences like pollen and bugs.

There are many amenities at Sunny’s, including interior air fresheners, a bike wash station and dog wash station fully equipped with shampoo, conditioner and a blow dryer. Sunny’s water conservation efforts make this business stand out. A sophisticated recycling system significantly reduces water waste — six 1500-gallon tanks capture and recycle water, treating it with oxygen and ozone to eliminate bacteria before it’s reused.

The tanks capture 100% of water, and up to 90% is recycled. While 120 gallons hit a car during a wash, nearly 100 gallons are saved through the recycling system.

To put this into perspective, using a garden hose for five to eight minutes emits more water than the entire process at Sunny’s. The business’ green initiative and investment in water reclamation is extremely efficient in Lyon’s vision.

“Water isn’t cheap, and it won’t get cheaper,” Lyon said.

Every aspect, from architecture to landscaping, was designed to prioritize eco-friendliness and energy efficiency. Notable features include solar panel roofing and air-powered brushes and vacuums.

To Lyon, the sun logo embodies the cheerful experience of visiting the car wash on a warm day and fits the eco-friendly theme. Sunny’s gets its name from Lyon’s yellow labrador, Sunny, and pays homage to his father.

“My dad was a huge part of this project for me,” Lyon said. “Everything from securing funding to working through entitlements, all of it. My dad was like, ‘You’re my son, and it’s yours, so it became Sunny’s.’”

The car wash offers several selective membership options. The Sunny’s Shine Club provides unlimited car washes starting at just $20 a month, with the premium “SPF 50” package offering unlimited access to all services for $40 a month. Members can add up to four vehicles to one plan for an additional $20 per vehicle, making it cost-effective for frequent washers.

Sunny’s is currently offering limited services for its grand opening, inviting people to enjoy free car washes for the first 10 days, beginning May 3.

Additionally, if you sign up for Sunny’s Shine Club now, the first month of membership is just $10, and you can add extra vehicles at the same discounted rate. 

Written by: Alexandra Shapiro city@theaggie.org 

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