Legendary singer and musician Neil Young will be driving a modified 1959 Lincoln Continental Mark IV called the Linc Volt into the Automotive X-Prize competition. The original 1959 Lincoln Continental is 19.5 feet from bumper to bumper (the longest car of its time), weighs about 2 ½ tons and gets around 10 mpg.
The modified Linc Volt hybrid vehicle however, is expected to achieve over 100 mpg as part of the X-Prize requirements. Neil Young has partnered with Jonathan Goodwin’s H-Line Conversions and UQM Technologies for the Linc Volt conversion that can run on gasoline, CNG or biofuels. One of the unique aspects of this vehicle is that it also has an onboard hydrogen generator to increase mileage, no matter which primary fuel is being chosen.
According to Young, “The hydrogen generator produces gas out of water. It is displacing an unknown amount of fuel at this time and that’s one thing we’re going to figure out with VIPER. We’ve had estimates that it’s displacing up to 70 percent of fuel at this time, but we really don’t know. But we know we can get more out of it than were getting now.”
One of the ideas behind Neil Young’s Repower America promotion of this new technology is that consumers don’t have to be confined to small cars to get over 100 mpg. Enthusiasts of all kinds of cars including classic Americana can convert their vehicles and achieve increased mileage and lower emissions.
Mr. Young was at the Virginia International Raceway last week testing the Linc Volt and will continue to do so throughout April as well. Young is also producing a movie called “Linc Volt” based upon the experimentation, promotion and results of this car, which will be due out in the Fall of 2009.