To help showcase how its Leaf electric vehicle is helping people convert solar energy at home, Nissan has applied glow-in-the-dark paint to its EV.
The Japanese carmaker worked with Hamish Scott, the creator of Starpath, which is a spray-applied coating that absorbs UV energy during the day, and then glows for about eight to 10 hours at night. While this kind of car paint is already available in the aftermarket--not to mention glow-in-the-dark car wraps--the bespoke paint created for Nissan is unique because of a secret formula made up of organic materials. The coating contains a rare earth product called Strontium Aluminate, which is solid, odorless, and chemically and biologically inert.
Nissan is the first carmaker to directly apply nonorganic glow-in-the-dark paint. If made commercially available, this product would last for 25 years.
The idea being promoted by this paint is quite interesting. To save further on running costs, some Nissan Leaf owners have installed solar panels in their homes, and are using the stored energy to charge their EVs at night. This effectively means owners are charging for free. Also, any excess power gathered during the day is fed back to the national electric grid and--this amazing initiative is almost too painful for us to hear--the homeowner will get paid by the government!
"Running the Nissan Leaf costs a sixth of the amount we’d pay to run a diesel or gasoline car," said one Nissan Leaf owner. "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 has been produced completely for free."
As for our side of the globe, we’ll be happy if Congress just gets the hybrid incentives act signed.