Zahier Davids, owner of Flywheel Custom Chariots, now drives a green waterless car-wash business.Picture: Grounded Media PR
Cape Town - A Cape Town entrepreneur, a former Eskom competition finalist, has found an ingenious way to contribute to saving water, with his new mobile, waterless car-wash business.

Zahier Davids from Kensington, the owner of the company Flywheel Custom Chariots, explained: “We spray a specially formulated product on your vehicle, and the releasing agent lifts all the dirt and grime. We then wipe this off with micro-fibre cloths until your car is left spotless, with a showroom shine.”

He said products used were eco-friendly and biodegradable and gave a seven-day UV protection to the vehicle’s paint.

“We have a black trim fragrance polish for all rubber, plastic and leather materials, leaving no oily silicone reside once we’re done. We use a special mag cleaner, leaving the rims looking like new,” he said.

In light of the City of Cape Town’s Level 3 water restrictions, car washes, out of all types of small businesses, arguably bear the biggest brunt of the crisis.

Davids’s core business is to design and manufacture bicycles, including lowriders, cruisers, choppers and motorised bikes.

His bicycle business was named as a finalist in the Eskom Business Investment Competition in 2014.

Following Cape Town’s water restrictions, Davids recalled an idea about a waterless car-washing service he had once heard of and decided to do some research with a view to implementing it.

Not having the time, space or money to be able to do it full-time, he decided to make it completely mobile and go to his customers’ locations, which has proved to be a key selling point for the service. Instead of going to a car wash and waiting for up to two hours to have their cars washed, clients can have it done at their homes or offices.

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Davids started out by advertising the service on social media and to some of his WhatsApp contacts living in his area, and, within a short period, weekends were being filled with bookings.

Many customers knew him from the bike-manufacturing business and trusted him with their cars because of his dedication to quality workmanship and service.

Davids said most of the work was now done on weekends and public holidays by him and three people working temporarily at the business, but he would like to do more in future and would ultimately like to set up a manufacturing facility.

He said his team go to customers using three-wheel bicycles, which are each fitted with a box to carry all their products and vacuum cleaners.

“We now have regular customers and as a value add-on, we send out regular reminders and keep them updated on how much water they save. Some customers have saved up to 5000 litres of water since they’ve started using our service. To date, we’ve managed to save an estimated 150000 litres of water. With only one other company that provides the same service, we are well on our way and already command a 30% share of the market.”