November 8th 2008
What can I say about Neil Young, eh? I revere him the way some people revere Bob Dylan–no, that’s not true exactly. The people I know that revere Dylan do so in spite of his revelations that it was all a means to an end, all those incarnations of Dylan were just ephemera. The real Dylan waited all these years to present himself.
Young is who he is–his heart is on his sleeve. His music has wandered in and out of various genres as he has grown. I’m particularly partial to the era of heavy electric sound, but all of it enthralls me. He doesn’t mumble his lyrics and market his mystique… and his lyrics are political from his heart, not his pocketbook. (And I love his lyrics!) His Bridge School concerts and other charity work have endeared me.
But this isn’t about his music, this is about his cars. The San Francisco Chronicle says
Leave it to Neil Young to make green technology cool. The rock legend has created a company called Linc Volt Technology to promote the conversion of existing gas-guzzling cars into vehicles that run on alternative energy. But we’re not talking about boxy little e-cars here. Young, who likes his cars old and big, is launching his effort by converting a 1959 Lincoln Continental to run on electricity and natural gas.
Young’s cars include a Mercedes and a Hummer already converted to running on vegetable oil, but after talking to a Kansas entrepreneur, he decided to go with a new technology entirely.
Here’s how it works in a nutshell: For short runs, a car can be plugged in, charged and then run strictly on electricity using a rotary engine and its batteries. For longer hauls, there’s also a generator in the car that runs on compressed natural gas. When electricity runs short, the generator kicks in and refuels the batteries. To make matters even more interesting, the car’s generator will actually feed electricity back into your home when it’s parked and plugged in in the garage.