While glow-in-the-dark paint for cars has been in drive for awhile, Nissan Europe is taking glow-in-the-dark paint technology to a new level. The illuminating paint, however, will likely never be commercially available to car owners or automotive shops.

The difference with Nissan's glow-in-the-dark paint is that it uses a rare Earth element along with sunlight-based UV energy to power the "glow" of the car via the paint. Nissan Europe is showcasing the glowing achievement on its all-electric LEAF vehicle, which Nissan claims is fostering increasing use of solar energy in households.

Nissa teamed up with inventor and Starpath creator Hamish Scott on the glow-in-the-dark paint. Starpath is a spray coating that absorbs UV energy and then glows on whatever surface it's applied for eight to 10 hours.

The bad news, for car owners who would like to have such an environmental glowing vehicle, is that Nissan has no plans to sell the paint commercially or even license it. One reason is that the paint's secret formula features a very rare natural product, Strontium Aluminate. The organic element is biologically inert, solid and odorless. Nissan claims the paint created will last on a vehicle for 25 years.

The car maker claims it developed such a unique paint for its Leaf to further illustrate its increasing commitment to using solar power technology in car manufacturing, and to drive more consumer use of solar energy overall, explained Nissan Europe spokesman Gareth Dean.

Just a year ago, Nissan debuted another unique automotive invention -- a self-cleaning car paint that supposedly repels grease and dirt. During an exhibition at the Los Angeles Auto Show, Nissan demonstrated the paint's "cleansing" power by pouring chocolate syrup on a car encased in the self-cleaning paint. The chocolate quickly rolled off in sheets. At the time Nissan said it had no plans for the commercial production of the dirt-repelling paint called Ultra-Ever Dry.

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