Nissan’s latest innovation gives new meaning to the term “moonlighting.”
Tech Times reports that Nissan’s European breach has just unveiled a glow-in-the-dark car, the very first of its kind. This week, the Japanese automobile manufacturer released videos and photos of one of its Leaf Electric models, a fully electric car coated with a special glow-in-the-dark paint that the company claims is organic. Although independent car shops and paint makers have made non-organic glow-in-the-dark car paint in the past, this is the first time a car company has applied such paint directly on its cars.
Nissan hired inventor Hamish Scott to develop this paint. Scott is well-known for creating Starpath, a paint capable of absorbing ultraviolet light during the day in order to glow in the dark for up to eight to 10 hours at night. Scott claims that the paint can be used on any solid surface and can have practical purposes, such as marking sidewalks, pathways, and even buildings.
“This is no gimmick,” Scott told Gizmag.com. “This is a serious technology that is going to be used in an awful lot of places.”
Scott, of course, is not revealing his formula for the Nissan paint job, but it is known to contain Strontium Aluminate, a rare chemical that is solid, odorless, and both biologically and chemically inert, making it the perfect substance to be used on cars. As with Starpath, the car paint automatically (no pun intended) glows in the dark for up to eight to 10 hours, and has a lifespan as long as 25 years.
Nissan’s choice of its LEAF model for the paint job is perhaps due to its rising popularity and notoriety. As a fully electric car, LEAF requires no gasoline and emits no fumes. It is interesting to note that before the 1920s, cars didn’t have gas gauges, leaving drivers to more-or-less guess how much gas was in the tank.
How things have changed. Today, the average car contains over 3,000 feet of electrical wiring. And now, Nissan claims that 89% of its owners recharge their models overnight at home. The money that LEAF owners have saved because of this has led many to install solar panels in their homes, which also saves costs on electric use and can be used to power the car itself.
However, despite Nissan’s display, it did not make clear whether the paint would be offered to the general public, to the dismay of many car and glow-in-the-dark enthusiasts who want to see LEAF cars (and potentially other models and even makes in the future) glowing in the moonlight.
This is not the first time Nissan has made waves with a publicity event. USA Today points out that in the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show, Nissan unveiled a dirt- and grease-resistant paint. To illustrate its ability, someone actually poured chocolate syrup over the car’s hood and to the amazement of those present, the chocolate merely rolled off the car’s surface like water.