How Many Nuclear Reactors Will Electric Cars Need?

A small electric car uses about 0.3KWh per mile x 10,000 miles per year = 3 MWh per small car per year.

In the UK, 31 million small cars = 93 million MWh per year (I’m sure rich folk won’t insist on showing how rich they are by buying bigger cars – they’re sensible like that).

Apparently a nuclear reactor will produce about an average of about 700MW per hour.

700MW x 8,760 hours = 6 million MWh per reactor per year.

93 / 6 = around 15 new nuclear reactors are needed to power the UK’s cars.

That’s less than 2 new reactors per region! And the good news is that nuclear reactors produce hardly any CO2 and are perfectly safe. They are used throughout the industrialised world, so they must be.

And they only cost £3bn each. Plus running costs. And the boffins are bound to sort out that pesky question about nuclear waste soon. They’ve only had 50 years to think about it so far.

So there we are – green cars powered by green energy – our glowing future, sorted.

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    Quick update – here’s an interesting idea, we shouldn’t of electric cars at all but of “nuclear cars”:

    http://www.deathbycar.info/2011/03/nuclear-cars/

  • Matt

    Great article which backs up my own calculations, but just one note – there is no such thing as MW per hour . You can have MW (a measure of power) or MWh (a measure of energy), but not MW per hour.

    Lots of older folk make this mistake if they are used to using BTUs per hour, which is allowed.

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