Economic Ramifications of Hemoglobin-Powered Vehicles

I’ve been thinking way too much about the SyFy series “Blood Drive.”

The nominal premise of “Blood Drive” is a race across the country in cars powered by human blood, instead of electricity or gasoline or whatever. Also there are killer sex robots and probably demons, but that’s something else entirely.


Our protagonists drive a 1960s Chevy Camaro, certainly not the most fuel-efficient of vehicles. And it is a race, so they’re not driving fifty miles an hour for maximum fuel economy. This car runs long and hard, as one would expect when racing a muscle car.

“Blood Drive” is a pastiche of 1970s grindhouse flicks, including a lot of over-the-top blood and gore, and by far the most common way to top off is to just chuck a body into the engine. This looks awfully wasteful, with large quantities of blood being splattered all over whoever’s doing the, um, fueling. But they’ve shown this isn’t necessary; characters have carefully refueled their cars with their own blood, without endangering their lives in the process. In fact, from what has been shown thus far, it looks like the fuel tank is actually just a few ounces.

A few ounces of blood seems to have enough energy content to power a Camaro, being driven in a not-especially-efficient manner, for hours. This means that, when powered by one of Heart Enterprises’ blood engines, human blood somehow has several times the energy density of diesel, itself one of the most energy-dense liquids known to man.

Millions of people already have to take their own blood every day, for routine things like blood sugar testing. It’s relatively painless and simple, and since the human body regenerates blood on its own anyway, it’s effectively free of cost. Based on Heart’s technology, a couple drops of blood could be enough to get you to and from work every day. A nearly-free energy source for transportation? Maybe Heart Enterprises aren’t so bad…

Economic Ramifications of Hemoglobin-Powered Vehicles