Neil Young is making tech headlines again, following his appearance last month at the JavaOne conference. This time the legendary Canadian rocker is getting attention for his collaboration with Johnathan Goodwin of H-Line Conversions to transform a 1959 Lincoln Continental into a hybrid electric vehicle.Young had initially intended to have his vintage Lincoln converted to biodiesel, but the Farm Aid co-founder quickly gained interest in hybrid electric technology after talking with Goodwin about other such projects.
"With all this talk about gas, people are saying we should go to small cars, but I love big American cars with power. So does everybody else. Why give up on that? I asked Johnathan that first day if we could take a huge American car like this, 2 ¼ tons, 19 ¼ feet long, and make it so you could drive it without ever refueling. Something practical. Something that would change the world," Young told the Wichita Eagle.
Young is filming a documentary about the project, titled Linc-Volt. "It's the story of the resurrection and re-powering of the car that represented the American dream. So the car has to go to Wichita, to have its engine replaced with a giant electrical engine. It works off the grid -- you plug it in at night. So it has very low emissions and a lot more power. It's a lot faster -- it does 0-60 in six seconds. It's part of the spirit of the country. America is never going to be frugal. It's too big; the roads are long, the people are big, they like big cars. So there's a challenge to figure out how to retain all those things and be clean," he told The Guardian last fall.
The car is officially entered in the XPrize Race, a competition for 100 MPG vehicles.
Watch Young and Goodwin at work on the Linc-Volt in this video.