Are You Ready For: The Thorium-Laser-Steam-Turbine Electric Powertrain?

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

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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  • Alacrity Alacrity on Aug 14, 2011

    Think EEstor has a better constructed story - Wards should feature them.

    • Bytor Bytor on Aug 14, 2011

      Yes, it is pretty damn sad how long that scam has been running successfully. But this one is completely ridiculous. Charles Stevens, was previously running medical scams. He doesn't even cover his tracks. Check his linked in page: His Previous venture is listed as CEO of Helyxzion (cure all disease): " HELYXZION NEEDS YOUR HELP! USEING HELYXZION TECHNOLOGY WE CAN CURE “ALL” DISEASE REGENERATE LOST LIMBS REBUILD DAMAGED ORGANS CREATE NANOTECHNOLOGIES THAT WILL SAVE LIVES YOU CAN HELP MAKE IT HAPPEN AND MAKE YOURSELF MONEY AT THE SAME TIME JUST FOLLOW ONE OF THESE LINKS: MAKE MONEY AND HELP CURE DISEASE: " So curing all disease wasn't enough for our intrepid CEO, he is now going to solve our energy problems as well. Quite the polymath we have here... It is scary that people buy this guys snake oil. Wards Auto should hang their heads in disgrace for being duped so easily by this nonsense. He is just repackaging some buzzwords and throwing in some facts out of context (mixed in with outright nonsense). He really isn't even a very good scammer, only natural dupes should fall for this, but sadly we have too many of those.

  • Bytor Bytor on Aug 14, 2011

    Some more digging I found Press releases of partnerships with Stevens previous company Helyxzion. I wondered who would partner with an obvious scam. The thing is all those partners appear to have evaporated as well into dead link land. Though I did find a trail on this one (lots of press releases still available): "Helyxzion and Telomolecular Announce Strategic Partnership According to Chief Executive Officer, Matthew A. Sarad, “Helyxzion’s technologies are able ...." Followed by SEC litigation against Sarad for stock fraud: SEC Charges California Biotechnology Company for Fraudulent Stock Scheme The SEC alleges that Telomolecular and its founder and former CEO, Matthew A. Sarad of Folsom, Calif., induced hundreds of investors nationwide to purchase $6.5 million worth of shares of Telomolecular stock. According to the SEC's complaint, Telomolecular and Sarad falsely claimed the company was backed by a deep management and scientific team, generating significant industry interest in its technologies, and prepared to obtain financing from substantial institutions. Instead, the complaint alleges that the company lacked the management professionals and extensive scientific staff it claimed, the supposed interest in its technologies did not exist, and the potential source of financing it touted was a sole proprietorship with no assets. It is a sad state of "Journalism" today that Wards will publish "too good to be true" tech stories that should immediately send your scam meter into the red, without any background checks and that should have revealed a web of scams/fraud. This bored auto fan only wasted about 20 minutes with Google to dig this up. Any "journalist" who valued their integrity should have done at least this much. I am sure there is much more...

  • Bullnuke It may be awhile before these show up on US shores. The MV Fremantle Highway has just started demo/reconstruction in Rotterdam after the large fire when transporting its last shipment of electric Porsche products.
  • Fie on Fiasler Big, fast and thirsty does not equal good. True luxury is not cobbled together by the UAW.
  • Inside Looking Out I see it as gladiator races - only one survives in virtual world.
  • Crown They need to put the EcoDiesel back in the Grand Cherokee. I have a 2018 and it has been the most reliable vehicle I ever owned. 69,000 miles and only needed tires, and regular oil and fuel filter changes.
  • El scotto Y'all are overthinking this. Find some young hard-charging DA seeking the TV limelight to lock this kid up. Heck, have John Boehner come up from Cincy to help the young DA get his political career going. Better yet, have the young DA spin this as hard as he or she can; I'm the candidate for Law and Order, I defied our go-easy office and leadership to get this identified criminal locked up. Oh this could be spun more than a hyper active kid's top.Now I'd do some consulting work for Little Kings Original Cream Ale and Skyline Chili.