That's right, kids. We're talking about a nuclear-powered car. Please insert maniacal laugh track.
The principle is fairly simple. The thorium would be lased to generate heat, which would then produce steam in a closed-loop system. That steam would then power a generator to produce electricity. Since it only takes a thin sheet of aluminum foil to shield the world from the weak thorium radiation and the element can't be weaponized, it's thought to be perfect for mobile power generation.
Scientists say that just eight grams of thorium could be enough to power a vehicle for somewhere around 300,000 miles of driving. If this all sounds a little far-fetched, it may pay to remember that thorium is already on automakers' radar. Cadillac introduced the thorium-powered World Thorium Fuel Concept at the 2009 Chicago Auto Show.