Post-apocalyptic scenarios are always bleak. Whether a zombie apocalypse has decimated life as you knew it; a nuclear war devastated all-natural resources, or even some alien mastermind decided to come down and probe all humans until they turned into BDSM-loving misfits, I guarantee no one has been able to fully prepare for an apocalypse! Thankfully, the aforementioned scenarios are fictional (at least for now). As everyone knows, real-life has given us a bit of an apocalyptic event of our own to contend with: a pandemic has been sweeping the globe sending most governments into total lockdown. This means many businesses have either closed their doors completely or have only been running essential services. Unfortunately, that means some of us have succumbed to rather unusual circumstances. Like how only driving when absolutely necessary has resulted in our car batteries needing to be replaced. Fortunately, one company did stand out among the rest and managed to get us a car battery replacement in short order… but let me tell you that not knowing where we would get a battery was frustrating, to say the least. It made us think of all the ways car batteries would have been useful, had we actually been in an apocalypse like those mentioned above!
In addition to being in dire straits and practically having to scavenge for energy before Battery Centre saved us, we have also reviewed The Last of Us Part II! In my review, I mentioned how incredible the narrative is when juxtaposed with the admittedly very mundane representation of the apocalypse. In many ways, I think it is one of the most realistic representations thereof. In the first game, there is a scene where you have to find car parts in order to make a vehicle drivable again. It begs the question, however, of what other uses car batteries in the post-apocalypse might have? We figured out six super useful ways to use them!
Solar Power Generator Storage
In games like The Last of Us, conventional generators are still plentiful. Frostpunk, on the other hand, revolves around building and maintaining a massive tower-like generator that acts as a heater to the surrounding buildings. However, in more dire apocalyptic scenarios, it would come to reason that finding a source of energy would be very useful. Why not build yourself a solar-powered generator?!
While I was researching clever ways to turn car batteries into storage for solar generators, I came across one of the most insane little DIY projects I have ever seen, and my gosh is it perfect. With a little bit of practice and electrical know-how, you can go into the apocalypse knowing full-well that you will be able to power your life with the sun, and have all excess energy stored inside a car battery! According to YouTuber SolarBurrito, the entire project costs around $150, which might be pricey. Having a car battery or two at the ready already cuts your costs quite a lot. The rest of the components come down to inverters and fuses found at any electrical shop. While scavenging for these parts, chances are you will find them easily at petrol stations and repair shops.
Portable Lighting System
Okay so hear me out. It is dark, and the air is filled with radioactive dust. You can hardly see beyond your nose, and you can hear the sounds of infected humans closing in on your location. It is only a matter of time before you are a goner, but you really need to get your… homework done. Things would go much faster if you had a light!
Turns out that is exactly what YouTuber SPTuning figured when he needed to set up a few lights before it went dark! In the video, SPTuning rigs up a 12V car battery to a set of lights, and even goes so far as to create actual working power outlets. You know, for the rare case that you still have a phone to charge in the post-apocalypse. In the video, they also go over what could be done wrong (and have done wrong) until they managed to get it working perfectly. The video is a lengthy vlog-type video, but it is sure to leave you with a lot more knowledge about rigging up lights in the post-apocalyptic world we may all soon enter.
Quick and easy welding source
Jerryrigging and DIY building are topics that come up in the everyday life of a citizen in the post-apocalypse. If your entire family have turned into BDSM-loving probe enthusiasts, you will likely want to travel as far away as possible. In doing so, you will likely meet a band of Mad Max Fanclub jockeys who, like the best fans out there, can dress the part and talk the part, but probably not play the part all that well. Why not turn the welding and quick energy resource know-how you just learned into a means of becoming their leader?!
Welding and building are very important parts of staying alive after the apocalypse. As YouTuber Rinoa from Rinoa’s Auspicious Travails showcases, it is evident that car batteries are good for more than providing light or storing solar energy. In fact, they can also act as quick and easy sources of energy for welding! Obviously, car batteries are not made to output constant high voltages, but it should work well enough for quick welding jobs here and there. Need to fix that pipe before the next infected storm wreaks havoc on your shack? This may very well be the way to do it!
Make some cash!
Okay, so not all batteries will always be useful. While scavenging for parts, chances are you will come across one or two failed batteries – that is how the cookie crumbles sometimes! Thankfully, finding a dead battery does not mean you need to let the wish to build a source of light go to waste. Why not take those batteries to the nearest scrapper, and have them trade you some… bottle caps, cigarettes or toilet paper?
YouTuber Mike the Scrapper wants you to know exactly how to scrap a dead car battery, and how to do it in such a way so as to make the most out of it (a very useful skill to have if you plan on making some money in a post-apocalyptic world)! Whatever the most valuable currency might be when the apocalypse breaks out; with a dead battery or two, you can become a very rich individual. In the video above, Mike describes exactly how to strip the batteries to get to the most valuable parts. I can already see how the previously mentioned Mad Max fun club leader can use this knowledge to become the grand supreme leader of the post-apocalypse!
Have robots do your bidding
Building a robot is already a fun, albeit time-consuming, activity. There are hundreds of kits out there that you can buy to build the most creative little robotic companions! However, what if you want to do so in a world decimated by some brain fungus? Surely there is no way to get your hands on some fancy screwdrivers and rechargeable batteries. Why not use car batteries to power your companions instead?
Robot companions come in all shapes and sizes. As YouTuber Robert Cowan shows off in the embedded video, you can even find ways to make your life much easier thanks to robotics! While his entire channel details useful robots, I felt inclined to show off his snow blowing robot due to my fingers literally feeling like they want to fall off as I type this – maybe we are on the verge of a nuclear winter?! In the video, Cowan details how he put his snowblower together using a wheelchair and two car batteries. This is perfect for when you need to blow some nuclear ash away before going out to do your daily scavenging, right?
Make a portable personal heater
Okay so, up top I have gone through alien probes, infected brain fungus, BDSM-hysteria sweeping through all homes, and even radioactive fallout. However, nuclear winters are just as scary to think about! If you plan on surviving temperatures only Frostpunk players are used to seeing, chances are you will want to stockpile some blankets, lots of soup, and maybe a personal heater or two… but what if you cannot find any more heaters? Fortunately, you can make your own!
Thanks to YouTuber AK Creativity, I managed to find the perfect guide on how to create a personal heater capable of heating a small room, by using a single car battery, and a computer fan! The video above only shows how the actual heating mechanism is jerry-rigged, but you can connect it the same way that they did in the Portable Lighting System video.
Naturally many of the useful ways above should only be taken into account when the apocalypse does occur. In many cases, scrapping old batteries or rigging them up to work as power supplies is not worth the time and effort if you already have conventional power or means at home. With that said, there is no denying how awesome these projects are, and how cool they will make you look once we are all in dire need of emergency power! All I know is that all of the ideas above make me want to go mod my Sims and have them do everything off of car batteries. I might even mod it so every time they run anything with it, they have a 60% chance of exploding. Fun!