Neil Young Wants his 20-Foot 1959 Lincoln to get 100 MPG and Win the Automotive X-Prize


Linc Volt Project
Neil Young currently drives a 1982 Mercedes coupe diesel that runs on vegetable oil he buys from a restaurants, but that's just a "band aid", according to him. His real goal is more ambitious: He hired a team to modify his 5000 lbs, 20-foot long 1959 Lincoln Continental to make it run on "on natural gas, electricity or some other form of clean energy". He would like it to get over 100 MPG equivalent and win the $10 million Automotive X-Prize.

Read on for more details.

Why the 1959 Lincoln Continental? Why not a more reasonable (and light, and aerodynamic) car? Because it is Neil's favorite, and the "craziest and most out-there designs that American automobile manufacturers have come up with".

Mr. Young at times shrugs off the competitive aspect of the project. "We're not in the race against other contestants; we're in a race against time," he said at the Sun Microsystems event in May. "We're not in this to win the X Prize. I am focused on a goal, and it's an audacious goal: to eliminate roadside refueling."

In addition, Mr. Young said he would share whatever his team comes up with, so that others could build on their work.


A lot of informtion is on the LincVolt website and on the LincVolt youtube channel. Looking at it, we admit that it does look a bit like the recording of a Neil Young album: Disorganized and casual. What works for art might not work for an engineering project... But hey, you never know!

We can't say we think the odds of Young's team winning the X-Prize are very high when you consider the competition and the requirement of "demonstrating a capacity to produce more than 10,000 of the vehicles a year", but it's still a very cool project and we hope it will inspire others to think about the future of green transportation. The more people think about this problem and try to solve it, the better a chance we have.

Via New York Times
Photos: LincVolt website
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