By October 20, 2013 43 Comments Read More →

Car Runs 1 Million Miles on 8 Grams of Thorium



In breaking news on the energy and technology front, Laser Power Systems, a U.S. company based out of  Connecticut is developing a method of automotive propulsion using the element thorium to produce electricity. The results far surpass anything currently powering automobiles. To put it in perspective, 8 grams of Thorium produce enough power for a car to drive 1 million miles.

Thorium is similar in structure to the element uranium. Because it is an incredibly dense material it has the potential to produce tremendous heat, and thus energy.

Charles Stevens, the CEO of Laser Power Systems CEO, explains that just one gram of thorium yields more energy than 28,000 liters of gasoline. Just eight grams of thorium, Stevens explains, would produce more energy than the vehicle could use in its entire life, without the need for refueling… ever.

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Stevens explained in an interview with Ward’s Auto, that small pieces of thorium have been used to generate heat, being positioned to create a thorium laser in the vehicle. The laser heats water which produces steam, which in turn powers a series of “mini-turbines.”

The entire engine weighs only about 500 lbs and is light and compact enough to fit under the hood of any conventional vehicle.


Stevens and his 40 employees are now trying to answer the question of: “How do you take the laser and put these things together efficiently?”

The question is not, however, “if” they can get it to work, but “when” they can get it efficiently produced. When they do, they will have a vehicle that “will wear out before the engine. There is no oil, no emissions – nothing.”

Far from conceptual, this has worked in the thorium-powered 2009, Cadillac World Thorium Fuel Concept, presented by Loren Kulesus. Aside from adjusting this innovative model’s 24 tyres every five years, Kulesus explained that nothing else would need to be added to the vehicle, including fuel for more than a century of use. cadillac-world-thorium-fuel-concept-2-625x390

What are your thoughts about this and other potentially thorium-powered vehicles?

  • Arelowo

    What happens when you get into a car crash. If it is similar to to uranium is it also radioactive?

    • Mike

      It’s about 10000 times less long lived than uranium :p. No problems here, on top of that it’s a relatively commonly found element worldwide. More common than gold.

      • Grif

        Plus, it exists all over the universe. Good luck finding oil outside of this planet. We could get plenty of thorium from asteroids, which we are getting closer and closer to being able to excavate.


    Sounds great!All for it! Wait until the “scaredy-emo” anti nuclear enviro-twits get a hold of it.It has “nuclear” in the title;It’ll never see the light of day.
    and what happens to the reactor during crash testing? Have to ask…

    • mike mccall

      There is no reactor in the car. The car runs on electricity. Thorium has to be run through a reactor to make power.

  • Carguy

    This sounds completely awesome! However, I’m sure the oil companies and car manufacturers will probably lobby or take more drastic methods to suppress this technology.

  • Mike Agular

    No word on whether the turbine is wet-cycle or dry-cycle? Hi or low pressure turbines?

    Bilbo, there is no reactor. Did you not read the story?

  • Omur

    Thats freakin awesome, but I guess we have to pay a dollar for every mile it can drive and I’m pretty sure with the usage of Thorium the insurance won’t be cheap.

  • nadav

    what do i think ?
    1 cancer .
    2 traffic jams .
    not fun

  • jo

    For more understanding of thorium and energy check Kirk Sorrensen and thorium technology on youtube.

  • Micah

    A Volvo has been tested to go more than 3 million miles with one owner.

  • Rick

    Do you honestly believe 1. the feds will let this happen?; 2. Exxon, Mobile, Shell, BP etc will let this happen? 3. The Saudis will let this happen? I remember as a teen the first turbine car that would run on lighter fluid or anything flammable. Built by Chrysler, turbine in the trunk. Came through town big fanfare. Then disappeared and never heard from again. Why? Well, they said it would get 50mpg and back then the 7 Sisters (American oil companies) would never let this car be made. Seen any on the road today? You will never see this one either.

    • UtahTwisted

      Conspiracy theorists, ya gotta love ‘em.

    • dwinkle

      The turbine was killed off during the Chrysler bailout, because they had enough fires burning. It was nothing unusual, just a turbine engine. Very noisy, and not good for mechanical transmission because of jet lag, but could have been used to power a generator, and thus electric car. But it really has no fuel advantage over any other car. The 50 mpg version they made was extremely light, and couldn’t be used safely on streets.

  • Melsia

    I have to read up on Thorium. It sounds great however the engineers would have to create a car that lasts as long as 1 million miles. Also this would probably raise the car price to 50,000 because it can last a lifetime. It this was made it could become a car that is passed down from generation to generation. Uranium is dangerous and I hope Thorium is not dangerous as well. I am wondering about steam, lasers, car crashes, extreme heat, and what happens then? I am sure that would be something they would need to test as well.

    • Mike

      Seems like you could also just use a smaller amount of thorium.

    • David

      I don’t understand why the alleged test vehicle has 24 tires. Each tire adds rolling resistance; you’ve increased rolling resistance 6 fold with 24 tires and unless you plan on cornering above 200mph there doesn’t seem much point.

  • gazpefoc

    I don’t think that it is the fuel that makes a car lasts 1 million miles. With enough care you can run on gas or diesel more than a million miles.

    • Mike in São Paulo

      Reading comprehension is such a wonderful thing. The article clearly states that it only requires one fueling of the vehicle to run that far.

  • Nando

    The light at the tunnels’s end…get rid of the oil monopolies.

    • Jazz

      Which will NEVER happen… Ever.

      • dwinkle

        That’s what they said about the shipping magnates. When money dries up in one place, the rich move their money to somewhere else. Really doesn’t matter to them.

        • Jazz

          The oil monopolies won’t go away, just become something else.

  • SweetOlBob

    Wow ! So what the necessary metal to metal contacy points like bearings ? We suppossedly some(?) million mile or more parts like that available now, but lubrication is needed. Even if no contact bearings are invented there is still thse road. Great, but it sounds like a slice of sky pie.

    • dwinkle

      Turbine engines have extremely long life spans, because there is no reciprocation, the parts all move in the same direction all the time. An engine like this could simply be dropped in a different car every ten years.

  • Spirit

    Next they will produce flying cars fueled by Ununpentium (115).
    And yeah, how much is thorium, per gram?

    • RiverMikeRat

      Several thousand dollars. Unfortunately, you will have to pay for that up front, which will put it out of the price range of most people. But, if you compare it to what the same # of miles on gasoline would cost……..much cheaper.

      • dwinkle

        Nope. Only $5 a gram right now. It could be less than $.10 if it got popular. Its easy to extract and we only need small amounts of it. Uranium is expensive because it needs to be enriched, which thorium does not.

        • RiverMikeRat

          Nice. Another reason to put more effort and money into research and development for this.

  • BeansNRice

    The us government needs oil revenues to pay for welfare and votes more than Exxon needs the money.

  • dwinkle

    Makes you wonder why almost every car company is selling electric and hybrid cars. You can cover your roof with solar panels, use them to charge your car, and never pay for gas again. Funny they never stop people from doing that.

    • Sicofante

      Actually they do: in Spain we have recently witnessed what’s called “the sun tax”. Basically, in this country you must pay for producing your own electricity with fotovoltaic cells.

      • RiverMikeRat

        That’s because your politicians rolled over to the energy industry. They saw money slipping away with the conversion of Spain to a solar economy and wanted to be able to keep going to the bank. So, they implement a tax we will never see in the US.

        • Sicofante

          What makes you think “you will never see” something like this in the corporate owned USA?

          • RiverMikeRat

            Because we were smart enough before the technology took off the way it has to ensure that we have laws on the books making that illegal. We have laws that require utilities to allow us to use solar. There are also laws requiring reversible meters so the utilities can give us credits when our solar arrays produce more power than we consume from the grid.

          • Sicofante

            We had all of that too. Laws change…

  • dwinkle

    About $5 a gram. But that’s because there is very little demand for it, and thus little supply. There is 4 times as much Thorium in the Earth as Uranium, and is just as easy to extract – as a bonus, it’s useless as a weapon.

  • dwinkle

    Lots of Thorium deposits worldwide, especially in India where they coul use it (even though the government will keep it all).

    Known global deposits:

    • 360,000 India

    • 300,000 Australia

    • 170,000 Norway

    • 160,000 United States

    • 100,000 Canada

    • 35,000 South Africa

    • 16,000 Brazil

    • 95,000 Others

  • David

    It’s in Coleman gas lantern mantles to make them burn more brightly. Visit several Wal Marts and you’ll have a decent trace of thorium with which to work.

  • Jeffrey Barber

    The USA’s whole political system is ruled by Big Oil. It will be a long struggle. Look at pipelines there doomed to fail from the moment their built. Republican’s cry jobs created, those jobs last 2 years. The real jobs created are the ones who clean the pipelines spills and leaks.

    • RiverMikeRat

      Don’t forget the GOP talking heads telling people not to worry about all the oil and other toxic contaminants in their water supply, that it’s safe to drink oily water, just look at the Mexicans.

  • stellarseeker

    how much does thorium cost? how much is needed? how much do we have?

  • stellarseeker

    oh, and can it be reused?