Neil Young’s (Electric) Hot Rod Lincoln

Published March 20, 2015

Long an activist for political and environmental causes, musician Neil Young founded, supported the construction, promoted, then reconstructed  the LincVolt, a 1959 Lincoln Continental powered by a biofueled (cellulosic ethanol) gas turbine powering an electric motor with lithium ion storage batteries, which he’s driven around the United States, ostensibly as part of a film project.


The goal of the LincVolt project, according to the project’s website, is to inspire a generation by creating a clean automobile propulsion technology that serves the needs of the 21st Century.  By creating this new power technology, Young hopes to reduce the demand for fossil fuels so as to eliminate the need for war over energy supplies.


Young looks to promote the development, production, and sales of zero emissions automobiles that eliminates roadside re-fueling entirely, a safe powerful automobile that is comfortable and economic on both long trips and the commute to work, an automobile that can generate power to the home when it is parked, potentially creating an income stream for the owner, according to the company.


On the morning of November 9, 2010, a three-alarm blaze caused $1.1 million in damage to a warehouse filled with Young’s music equipment and memorabilia appears to have started by the charging system of the LincVolt. The car was heavily damaged in the fire and the task of rebuilding LincVolt fell to Roy Brizio Street Rods.


The primary component are a Capstone Microturbine 30 kW (40 Horsepower) driving UQM 150 kW (200 horsepower) prime mover, and storage batteries from a Thunder Sky lithium phosphate battery pack . After the fire the batteries were replaced with a A123 Systems lithium phosphate battery pack.
In Neil’s words: “We stayed with it. We worked and stayed focused on success, trying to make a big car fast, clean and responsible. We did this because big cars are here for quite a while, as are pick-up trucks. They need to be more environmentally responsible, create jobs, and not be a threat to national security. The world needs a lot of energy and we can’t just go on the way we are, burning fossil fuel. A transition to clean energy is imperative for future generations. By 2050, the world will need 17 Terra Watts more energy than it is now using. This energy must be clean or it will ruin our environment.”





Chris Riley
About Chris Riley

I have been wrecking cars for as long as I've been driving them but I keep coming back for more. Two wheels or four, I'm all in. gives me a chance to give something back to the automobile community.

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