Nissan has become the first automobile company to use glow-in-the-dark paint in one of its vehicles.
Nissan applied the glow-in-the-dark paint to its Leaf all-electric vehicle, in a bid to showcase how the car has helped more and more customers convert to using solar energy for their power needs at home.
The automobile manufacturer teamed up with Hamish Scott, the inventor of Starpath paint. Starpath is a kind of paint that is able to absorb ultraviolet energy in the day to allow it to glow for times of between eight hours and 10 hours at night.
While there are already options for glowing car paint and glow-in-the-dark vehicle wraps out in the market today, the UV-energized paint that was especially created for Nissan is unique due to the secret formula used for the production of the paint, which contains only organic materials. The paint has an extremely rare ingredient named Strontium Aluminate, which is solid, odorless and both biologically and chemically inert. The unique paint, if it will be released to be available commercially, will last for up to 25 years.
Several third-party companies have previously used non-organic glow-in-the-dark paint to cars. However, Nissan has become the first automobile manufacturer to directly apply the paint onto its cars.
The Nissan Leaf has proven itself to be a cost-saving vehicle, and with the money that the owners save by using the car, one of the more popular items that have been purchased has been solar panels for their homes. Installing solar panels in their homes means that families are decreasing the carbon footprint of their households, and at the same effectively allowing Leaf owners to recharge their cars for free.
According to research conducted by Nissan, 89 percent of owners of Leaf cars recharge their vehicles overnight at home. While solar panels are not capable of storing energy and providing it without daylight, the government incentives that the family receives from using solar panels will effectively be paying for the recharges of the Leaf.
Nissan, however, did not specify whether customers will actually be able to purchase a Leaf vehicle with the special glow-in-the dark paint. The option may never come at all, considering the explained rarity of the paint's Strontium Aluminate component.
Another application for the glow-in-the-dark Starpath paint are cyclepaths in the Cambridge city center in the United Kingdom.
Pro-Teq Surfacing, the company owned by Scott, said that the technology can be used on almost any kind of solid surface and could possibly replace street lights one day.
Scott added that, unlike the glow-in-the-dark stars that people stick on their walls, the luminosity of Starpath paint depends on the environment's natural light. The darker it is, the brighter the paint glows.