Warm-Up Lap: A Glow-In-The-Dark Nissan LEAF

Remember those neat glow-in-the-dark toys you’d sometimes get in cereal boxes? Now imagine that, but on a full-size car. A glow-in-the-dark Nissan LEAF using entirely organic materials was revealed last week. But don’t get too excited, because this cool paint job can’t be had. Yet.

The luminescent paint, called STARPATH, absorbs UV energy and can turn that energy into the above glowing effect for up to 10 hours per night. Inventor Hamish Scott keeps the secret formula guarded, though a rare ingredient called Strontium Aluminate is one of the reasons we won’t be getting glow-in-the-dark cars anytime soon. This rare earth element is, well, rare, which is to say expensive, and it simply wouldn’t be feasible for mass production.

It is, however, still wicked cool to look at, and it begs the question….would driving be safer if cars glowed in the dark? I think it could have at least a marginal impact on traffic deaths, as it would be much easier to identify a broken-down car on the side of the road, for example. It’s also the perfect fit for the Nissan LEAF, as many owners are already charging their cars with solar energy.

It’s pretty incredible to realize that we live in a world where glow-in-the-dark cars powered by the sun are a real thing. Chew on that thought this week.

Christopher DeMorro

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or else, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.