I figured out a way of making electric cars go further. All they need is a generator on board and – presto – no problems with battery charging. Better still, you can get rid of those heavy batteries altogether and run the electric motors from the juice provided by the generator. That’s even greener – don’t forget that batteries involve exotic chemistry and carry their own environmental impact.
Of course, you’ll tell me this answer’s been obvious ever since the late nineteenth century, it’s how diesel-electric locomotives work. But even diesels produce greenhouses gases. My idea doesn’t use a drop of fossil fuel and it’s years between refuelling. So yeah, genius! You’ve probably guessed what I’m on about. Uranium never runs out of juice – not in the life of a car anyway. So there you have it. Atomic cars, each with their own nuclear reactor. Steam from the reactor drives a turbine, spins a generator, and away goes the car.
It’s got everything going for it – doesn’t burn fossil fuels, no need to refuel, and gets rid of dangerous eco-damaging batteries. Every possible benefit. Of course I’m not the first to think of it. Ford proposed atomic cars in 1957-58, but the tech needed to get their Ford Nucleon – er – rolling wasn’t quite there. Today, of course, I’m sure some enterprising manufacturer could build mini-reactors that fit into an ordinary car.
I can see it all now: hundreds of thousands of atomic cars with everyday drivers at the wheel, belting around crowded roads at speed, all with their own fission reactors maintained at least cost by corner garages. I mean, what could possibly go wrong?
Copyright © Matthew Wright 2021