No, it isn’t Halloween, nor is it an April fool’s trick. Nissan has applied glow-in-the-dark car paint to showcase its market-leading LEAF and raise awareness for solar energy at home.
The manufacturer worked with inventor, Hamish Scott, creator of STARPATH, which is a spray-applied coating that absorbs UV energy during the day so that it glows for between eight and 10 hours when the sun goes down.
While glowing car paint is already available, as are glow-in-the-dark car wraps, the bespoke, ultraviolet-energised paint created especially for Nissan is unique thanks to its secret formula made up of entirely organic materials. It contains a very rare natural earth product called Strontium Aluminate, which is solid, odourless and chemically and biologically inert.
Various third-party companies have applied non-organic glow-in-the-dark paint to vehicles before but Nissan is the first car maker to directly apply such technology. Nissan’s unique paint, if made commercially available, would last for 25 years.
With running costs of just two pence* or less per mile to run, the UK’s 7,500 plus Nissan LEAF owners have reported significant savings and are using the money they save on a wide variety of items; among the more popular of these are solar panels for the home, which decreases the household carbon footprint and means owners are also effectively charging their vehicle for free.
Research revealed recently by Nissan showed that 89% of LEAF owners charge their cars at home overnight. Although solar panels do not store energy or provide it outside of daylight, any leftover power generated during the day is fed back into the national grid and homeowners can get a Government payment for it, meaning that the overnight charge is already paid for.
LEAF owner Ian Finch is one of those who has combined the savings offered by running an all-electric vehicle with solar panels to power his home.
“Running the Nissan LEAF costs a sixth of the amount we’d pay to run a diesel or petrol car,” he said. “Overall, we are probably using 25% less electricity thanks to our solar panels and it’s a fantastic experience to be able to drive the LEAF using electricity that’s been produced completely for free.”
Nissan Motor GB Limited EV manager, Paul O’Neill, said:
“The Nissan LEAF is a shining beacon of sustainability and the future of motoring. Not only is it saving our customers money in running costs but it we are now seeing how it is helping people become more environmentally sensitive by reducing their carbon footprint.”