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Nissan has become the first manufacturer to apply glow-in-the-dark car paint to showcase how its market-leading, all-electric LEAF is helping more and more people convert to solar energy at home.
The manufacturer in collaboration with Hamish Scott, creator of STARPATH, has developed 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-energized 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, odorless 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.
“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.”