The element in question, is called thorium. It is radioactive, and if your car was powered by t, you would literally never need to refuel it. In fact, the thorium lasts so long, t will most likely outlive you too.
This is what inspired a company named Laser Power Systems to create the concept for a thorium-powered engine that.uses thorium to build a laserbeam that heats water, produces steam, and ultimately powers an energy-producing turbine.
Thorium is so powerful, that a small sample of it packs up to 20 million times more energy than a comparatively sized sample of coal, which makes it an ideal source of energy.
Before you get too excited though, Dr. Charles Stevens, the CEO of Laser Power Systems, told Mashable in an interview that thorium engines won’t be in cars anytime soon because the automobile industry doesn't want to buy into them because they prefer to profit rather than innovate;
“Cars are not our primary interest,” Stevens said. ”The automakers don’t want to buy them.”
He said too much of the automobile industry is focused on making money off of gas engines, and it will take at least a couple decades for thorium technology to be used enough in other industries that vehicle manufacturers will begin to consider revamping the way they think about engines.
“We’re building this to power the rest of the world,” Stevens said. He believes a thorium turbine about the size of an air conditioning unit could more provide cheap power for whole restaurants, hotels, office buildings, even small towns in areas of the world without electricity. At some point, thorium could power individual homes.
Stevens understands that people may be wary of Thorium because it is radioactive — but any such worry would be unfounded.
“The radiation that we develop off of one of these things can be shielded by a single sheet off of aluminum foil,” Stevens said. ”You will get more radiation from one of those dental X-rays than this.”
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