The Truth About Cars » Laser http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Sun, 14 Sep 2014 12:46:05 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » Laser http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com Junkyard Find: 1985 Chrysler Laser XE http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/02/junkyard-find-1985-chrysler-laser-xe/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/02/junkyard-find-1985-chrysler-laser-xe/#comments Mon, 24 Feb 2014 14:00:32 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=752617 The Chrysler Laser was the futuristic K-car-based answer to all those science-fiction Japanese cars of the middle 1980s. We’ve seen some of the Dodge counterparts to this car in this series, including this ’92 IROC R/T, this ’90, this ’88, and this ’87 Shelby Turbo Z. Since I’ve been collecting Japanese 1980s digital dashes, I […]

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19 - 1985 Chrysler Laser Down On the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinThe Chrysler Laser was the futuristic K-car-based answer to all those science-fiction Japanese cars of the middle 1980s. We’ve seen some of the Dodge counterparts to this car in this series, including this ’92 IROC R/T, this ’90, this ’88, and this ’87 Shelby Turbo Z. Since I’ve been collecting Japanese 1980s digital dashes, I just couldn’t resist adding a Detroit 1980s digital dash to my collection, in the slipperiest of slippery slopes.
05 - 1985 Chrysler Laser Down On the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinYes, I’ve grabbed this Laser’s digital dash and hooked it up to power, and in the meantime I’ve grabbed a few more Detroit digital instrument clusters from junkyards.
04 - 1985 Chrysler Laser Down On the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinCheck out the cool fader/balance joystick control. Less cool is the fact that Chrysler used this exact rig well into the 1990s.
03 - 1985 Chrysler Laser Down On the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinThe Laser XE came with all manner of computerized gadgetry, plus it talked! Unlike the earlier Nissan Maxima, this setup was all-digital.

03 - 1985 Chrysler Laser Down On the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - 1985 Chrysler Laser Down On the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 - 1985 Chrysler Laser Down On the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 06 - 1985 Chrysler Laser Down On the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 08 - 1985 Chrysler Laser Down On the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 09 - 1985 Chrysler Laser Down On the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 10 - 1985 Chrysler Laser Down On the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 11 - 1985 Chrysler Laser Down On the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 12 - 1985 Chrysler Laser Down On the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 13 - 1985 Chrysler Laser Down On the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 15 - 1985 Chrysler Laser Down On the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 16 - 1985 Chrysler Laser Down On the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 17 - 1985 Chrysler Laser Down On the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 19 - 1985 Chrysler Laser Down On the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 20 - 1985 Chrysler Laser Down On the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 21 - 1985 Chrysler Laser Down On the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin

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Are You Ready For: The Thorium-Laser-Steam-Turbine Electric Powertrain? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/08/are-you-ready-for-the-thorium-laser-steam-turbine-electric-powertrain/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/08/are-you-ready-for-the-thorium-laser-steam-turbine-electric-powertrain/#comments Thu, 11 Aug 2011 17:12:09 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=406683 Steampunks and Atomic Age nuts rejoice! WardsAuto reports that Connecticut-based Laser Power Systems is “getting closer” to developing a prototype electric car which develops its power using the radioactive heavy metal Thorium. According to LPS’s CEO, when thorium is heated by an external source, it becomes so dense its molecules give off considerable heat. Small blocks of […]

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Steampunks and Atomic Age nuts rejoice! WardsAuto reports that Connecticut-based Laser Power Systems is “getting closer” to developing a prototype electric car which develops its power using the radioactive heavy metal Thorium. According to LPS’s CEO,

when thorium is heated by an external source, it becomes so dense its molecules give off considerable heat. Small blocks of thorium generate heat surges that are configured as a thorium-based laser… These create steam from water within mini-turbines, generating electricity to drive a car. A 250 MW unit weighing about 500 lbs. (227 kg) would be small and light enough to drop under the hood of a car… Because thorium is so dense, similar to uranium, it stores considerable potential energy: 1 gm of thorium equals the energy of 7,500 gallons (28,391 L) of gasoline. Prototype systems generate electricity within 30 seconds of firing a laser. This can feed power into a car, without the need for storage.

What about radioactivity? LPS says Thorium’s low levels could be blocked with aluminum foil. Yes, tinfoil.  Terrorism? Because the Thorium is not superheated, it does not produce fissile material. Where does Thorium come from? Let’s just say the US has the world’s largest known reserves. General safety? The U.S. Geological Survey’s former senior advisor on rare earths calls the concept “both plausible and sensible.” So why aren’t we driving around thorium-laser-turbine EVs already? According to LPS CEO Charles Stevens.

“The issue is having a customized application that is purpose-made,” he says, admitting that developing a portable and usable turbine and generator is proving to be a tougher task than the laser-thorium unit.

“How do you take the laser and put these things together efficiently?” he asks rhetorically. But once that is achieved, “This car will run for a million miles. The car will wear out before the engine. There is no oil, no emissions – nothing.”

Sounds great… but we’re not holding our breath just yet.

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