A new car wash on South Tryon St. wants to provide the cleanest wash experience while protecting the environment. Greenway Express Car Wash, which opened in June, uses the latest filtration and water recycling technologies to minimize the environmental footprint of car washing. However its the desire for a clean and efficient car wash that primarily motivated the executive team of Jeffrey Terrell and Lance Eubanks to start the business.
Owner Lance Eubanks decided that he wanted to build a self service car wash and applied for a job at a Pineville car wash to learn about the business and to see if he could handle the rigors of running a daily car wash. There he ran into future Greenway Express operations manager Jeffrey Terrell, with whom he quickly developed a friendship. Eventually, Eubanks decided he wanted to start an express exterior car wash instead. He brought Terrell aboard and the two of them attended several classes at CarWash College in Florida.
Terrell takes great pride in the team’s knowledge about the equipment. “We didn’t just start a business and have no idea about what we were doing,” says Terrell. “We know exactly how everything in that [car wash] tunnel works, we know exactly how to take care of it…I can walk into that tunnel and with my ear and with my nose, I can tell you if something is wrong.”
The equipment is no joke, featuring the latest in car wash technology. Greenway Express features a combination of Neoglide and microfiber washing cloth, an advanced filtration system and energy saving dryers. But equipment can only go so far without the proper maintenance and upkeep.
“We take care of our equipment, thats the difference here,” says Terrell about the business’ commitment to cleanliness. “We clean the tunnel and the wraps seven nights a week, there is never a night that goes by that we don’t clean the equipment.” As someone who cares about his car, Greenway Express’ emphasis on cleanliness did alleviate my worries about potential scratching. The car wash also uses reverse osmosis filtered water for the final rinse, which prevents spotting and helps give a clean finish.
While Greenway Express markets itself as a green business, Terrell doesn’t want people to misinterpret the business’ environmental claims. “We have soap and we have chemical, what’s green here is that we recycle about 85 percent of our water,” Terrell says. “When the city starts to do water restrictions for droughts, they actually encourage people to go to car washes like ours.”
Terrell showed me the “rain garden” (shown below) which filters the water that can’t be recycled. The rain garden, which is four feet deep, filters the excess water that is filled with the runoff soap, oil and contaminants. After the water hits the rocks, it starts to filter and slow down underground before it runs into the public water system. According to Terrell, the rain garden filters out 90 percent of the chemicals in the excess water before it hits the public system.
Greenway Express is currently using Facebook and Groupon to market themselves. At the moment, the business has little marketing budget as the summer is the slowest season of the year for car washes. Also, Greenway Express opened during the worst heat wave in Charlotte history, during which many people opted to stay cool indoors.
However, Greenway Express plans to become more of an established name in the community through its fundraising program. The business wants to help Charlotte area organizations with fundraising. “It’s open to any church, civic organization, sports team, anything that is reputable,” says Terrell about the business’ fundraising program. “If we are doing a fundraiser for a church, we just set it up on a Saturday and the church members just simply come here and get their car washed. We donate a portion of [the proceeds] to the church.”
Additionally, Greenway Express has established a relationship with Olympic High School’s athletic director and PTA in order to offer part-time work to the school’s students. Terrell says that the business has standards for its high school workers. “If their grades suffer while they are working, we take them off the schedule,” Terrell says. “We’re not going to contribute to a high school student having low grades.”
If all goes well, Greenway Express plans to open at least one more location and possibly two more. While Terrell was not able to disclose possible sites for expansion, he did say that the city’s zoning laws would make it likely that it would not be in Charlotte’s city limits.
I took my car through Greenway Express’ tunnel and was impressed with the speed of the wash. The whole process took under three minutes. Except for a few spots (there were a couple drops of soap that didn’t come off with the final rinse), my car looked great. The tire shine did its job, making my tires gleam. Below is a video of the entire experience.
Mention Detailed Block and you will receive $5 off the premium package at Greenway Express Car Wash. Packages range from $5 for a wash and rinse to $18 for Greenway Express’ total package which includes clear coat, rim cleaner, tire shine and a four step paint re-conditioner (LAVA SHIELD). Offer good until September 15th, 2012.