Interview with Savona, the wash box innovators
Dutch self service wash specialist Savona is pushing hard. Not only with their unique wooden washbox but also with other innovations that make car washing more fun, easier and energy efficient. “We are part of a climate strategy in the Netherlands in which we have to save energy.”
Savona is a company from Holland specializing in the self car wash segment since 1968. They consider innovation a core responsibility. And it shows. One of their most recent innovations include an energy-neutral wash box and the circular wash box construction, made from sustainable wood.
Our Dutch colleagues from CarwashPro spoke with Savona during the recent Tank Station Trade Fair. “We have a collective task,” says Savona’s CEO Vincent van den Dungen about their focus on innovation and sustainable products. “We are part of a climate strategy in the Netherlands, in which we have to save energy and in which sustainability is paramount. As a car wash industry, we also have to go along with this. We all have that obligation, it is no longer a non-commitment.”
According to Van den Dungen, there is still a lot of work to do. “We take responsibility for this by looking at solutions, not only from the equipment and technology side but also from the environmental angle.
Often we have asked ourselves ‘what is actually needed and how we can do it better, instead of sticking to the conventional’.”
Savona looked at the entire washing process in the wash box. “What is needed for washing? What does it take in terms of energy? And what does it take in terms of chemicals, for example? By looking at what is really needed, we came up with great results and improvements.”
Step by step
Over the past year, for example, the Dutch car wash manufacturer has been measuring how much energy is needed per wash. “Measuring brings knowledge,” Van den Dungen explains. “Eventually, step by step, we were able to reduce as much as 70 percent of the energy consumption for a wash. In doing so, we use numerous techniques, which are very specific in the software control of the processes.”
That brings us to the very first wooden wash box, which will soon be on display at one of Savona’s own car wash locations in The Netherlands. “Why get stuck in expensive metal if it’s not necessary,” Van den Dungen asks rhetorically when discussing the why and what of the structure. “We have found a fantastic solution in sustainable wood, which comes from the Dutch timber industry. While you are building the wash box, another new wash box is already growing – so to speak.”
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Besides being a sustainable alternative, Savona says it also has to do with the ‘feel good factor’. “By using wood, the cold and chilly gives way to a warm alternative. The customer experiences a more comfortable feeling. When you combine that with the other elements like tv-screens and color schemes in the windows, the fun aspect is definitely present.”
Listen to the whole interview here (in Dutch)