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 worked with inventor, Hamish Scott, creator of STARPATH, which is 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-energised 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, odourless 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.
LEAF owner Ian Finch is one of those who has combined the savings offered by running an all-electric vehicle with solar panels to power his home.
“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.”
Nissan Motor GB Limited EV manager, Paul O’Neill, said: “The Nissan LEAF is a shining beacon of sustainability and the future of motoring. Not only is it saving our customers money in running costs but it we are now seeing how it is helping people become more environmentally sensitive by reducing their carbon footprint.”
* From 2p per mile is based on (i) overnight electricity costs (British Gas standard tariff unit rates for a customer paying by direct debit as at 1 May 2014, assuming seven hours of charging at the night rate and one hour on the day rate), and (ii) a range of up to 124 miles per full charge (assuming 95% efficiency). Actual consumption and range may vary due to driving style, road condition, air conditioning and other factors outside of Nissan’s control.
The Green Living Guy, Seth Leitman is a green living expert, celebrity and Editor of the McGraw-Hill, TAB Green Guru Guides. Seth is also an Author, Radio Host, Reporter, Writer and a Environmental Consultant on green living. The Green Living Guy writes about green living, green lighting, the green guru guides and more. Seth's books range from:
# Build Your Own Electric Vehicle by Bob Brant and Seth Leitman (2nd and 3rd editions)
# Build Your Own Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle by Seth Leitman
# Build Your Own Electric Motorcycle by Carl Vogel
# Green Lighting by Seth Leitman, Brian Clark Howard and Bill Brinsky
# Solar Power For Your Home by David Findley
# Renewable Energies For Your Home by Russel Gehrke
# Do-it-Yourself Home Energy Audits by David Findley
# Build Your Own Small Wind Power System by Brian Clark Howard and Kevin Shea
# and more green living books to follow.