Now here’s a way to make sure you’re spotted heading down the road. Drive a glow-in-the-dark car on a glow-in-the-dark highway. Nissan’s all over the idea and is showing off what it calls the world’s first glow-in-the-dark car.
It’s a Nissan LEAF zero-emission vehicle covered in special ultraviolet solar absorbing paint that makes it glow when the sun goes down. In the clip below, it lights up the night on a Smart Highway in the Netherlands, and we have to say the whole clip is a little Tron-esque and a pretty cool sight to see.
The Netherlands is clearly a place that is on board with zero-emission vehicles and energy saving measures. The Smart Highway pilot project is the only one in the world designed to consider innovative road solutions for the future. The innovative project was conceived by designer Daan Roosegaarde who wanted to guide drivers in the dark while saving energy that might otherwise be used in street lighting. A 600-meter stretch of the highway through the city of Oss has been upgraded with glowing lines that absorb light during the day and glow for eight hours at night.
“The glowing lines on the Smart Highway replace standard street lighting to reduce electrical energy consumption,” said Roosegaarde. “To have the world’s first glow-in-the-dark car on our road is a privilege, and it mirrors goals that we want to achieve with our Smart Highway.”
The same idea applies to the paint applied to the Nissan LEAF. The coating absorbs UV energy and other visible radiation during daylight hours and glows for between eight and 10 hours when the sun goes down. Nissan says it showcases one way owners of the world’s best-selling electric vehicle can power their car from solar energy generated at home.
Now here’s where things get hush-hush. Nissan’s ultraviolet paint is made with a secret formula that contains a solid, odorless Rare Earth Metal called Strontium Aluminate. The “secret sauce” is what makes it different from glowing car paint and car wraps that are already out there.
Nissan’s electric LEAF is selling like hotcakes in the Netherlands, with sales up 313% last year. In 2014, Nissan sold a total of 1619 vehicles in Netherland across its EV range. Notable successes include fleet deals, which saw the City of Amsterdam and public transport provider Connexxion purchase 200 and 100 e-NV200s respectively.