• Nov 15th 2010 at 9:55AM
  • 11

Multi-fuel turbine electric hybrid Lincvolt – Click above to watch video after the jump

It's better to burn out
Than it is to rust

It's a tragedy of epic proportions. Neil Young's 1959 Lincoln Continental Mark IV convertible, which he has spent the past few years converting into a multi-fuel turbine electric hybrid, has been severely damaged in a fire. Fresh from a trip to Las Vegas where it was presented to adoring crowds at SEMA, this 19.5-foot long representative of classic American automotive statuary, dubbed the "Lincvolt," was resting comfortably in a warehouse in San Carlos, CA when a fire suddenly erupted. Possibly from the trunk of the behemoth itself.

According to a statement appearing on the Lincvolt website:

We are still investigating the exact cause although it appears to be an operator error that occurred in an untested part of the charging system
Apparently, the Lincoln has its own area code black box-like computer that is being sent to Perrone Robotics in an effort to pinpoint the precise cause of the malfunction.

The structure, which is said to have suffered over $1 million in damages, was also home to much of the singer's music equipment and memorabilia. Due to the extraordinary efforts of firefighters, most of that was saved.

We can only hope that, if the Lincvolt is now bound for that final scrapyard in the sky, it will inspire a tune as great as the elegy to Young's 1948 Buick Roadmaster hearse, Long May You Run. To see footage of hybridized classic along with Neil's keynote address to SEMA, hit the jump for freshly finished four-part video. Thanks to everyone who sent this in!

[Source: Mercury News / Lincvolt]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      who killed the electric car?
      according to Jack Rickard, the BMS did : )

      I don't accept Young's argument that because many people like big cars that they have to stay. many might have liked George Bush, Fox news and Rush Limbaugh but they still have to go. same as many like hummers and 10mpg V8s. they still have to go.

      not to kick a man when he's down but as I also said then, it was the wrong car to start with. much the same as Jack Rickard's Escalade is wrong. because of the limits of battery energy density, the problems with wasteful vehicles become quite apparent in the process. they claim 80km(50mile) range on 385kg(850lbs) lithium iron battery pack and that's probably at slow driving.

      on a side note, the capstone is a quite heavy turbine genset with only 30kW power and modest fuell efficiency. it's not a good solution for cars.

      I know he probably selected it from a sense of style but that's just not a reason to ignore the relevant aspects. same as a Hummer might have style, it's still wrong.

      maybe he has money enough to do an EV comeback.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I think that another valid point to made here is why are people building EVs in their garages in the first place? I would argue that innovation has been lacking in the automotive sector, and consumers are not given the option of mass-produced EVs to purchase. Big auto makers have the equipment and technology to properly test EVs, but have been sitting on their "big SUVs" earnings, and failing to look ahead.

      Also, haven't we seen hot rodders and tuners have the same problems with fires in ICE cars? Aren't these autos converted and modded in garages also? As long as we are comparing autos, let's be fair about it all.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Apparently the Linc-Volt itself is being blamed for the fire. :-/
      John Stroh
      • 3 Years Ago
      Neil has had it RIGHT from the get go.He drove a tour bus across the states touring in 2003?Bus ran on used cooking oil.He drove a Hummer that that did the same!People yell at him,cause ther stupid.He has supported Farmers from the 1st farm aid .He is the real deal!God Bless U Neil!
      • 4 Years Ago
      I'll confess to a bit of smug satisfaction, or maybe schadenfreude from reading this. Not that I'm happy for the people who were put in danger or the property damage, though. But there have been too many articles and write-ups about novices making their own EV or plug-in hybrid conversions, and the tone of these articles is invariably "If one guy in his garage can design and build an EV, then why can't those mean old automakers do it?"

      Well, *this* is why those mean old automakers don't have this stuff out right now. They actually have to do a lot of testing and design work to make sure things like this fire *don't* happen. Joe DingDong in his garage doesn't do that kind of testing.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Electric drive has been possible for a long time. We also figured out how to manage lithium batteries, even lithium polymer batteries, in the 2000's. Car makers have been capable of making electric cars for a while, they are just waiting for someone else to take the initiative.

        GM sold the technology that could have made electric cars mainstream to Texaco/Chevron in 2000.

        There have been many setbacks, yet the electric car has so many advantages. It feels almost conspiratorial from the viewpoint of the electric car fan.

        Yes, it is very foolish to say 'i can make this in my garage, why can't auto companies', and then proceed to have a lithium battery fire. But that doesn't rule out that major auto manufacturers can't pull this stuff off. It is not rocket science. This stuff was figured out long ago.
        • 4 Years Ago
        "We also figured out how to manage lithium batteries, even lithium polymer batteries, in the 2000's. "

        Maybe cellphone and laptop-sized ones... though maybe not, since Sony (who brought Li-Ion to market in 1991) suffered an expensive and embarrassing recall in 2006. And you can search 'lithium battery fire' on YouTube and get hours of entertainment... or fright, if you're a powertrain engineer.

        When it comes to traction-sized battery packs of 10, 20, 30 kWh capacity, we are still on the steep part of the learning curve and there's a lot of basic research (e.g. 3-D thermo-chemical finite element modelling) going on even as the first big packs come to market. When things go wrong with these big packs, they go wrong in a big way.

        The stakes are high and there are plenty of naysayers eager to pounce on the first few high-profile production lithium vehicle fires. (I've heard they even have their own 'news' network.) It took decades to figure out how to produce, ship, store, and use gasoline at safety levels that are acceptable to society, but you won't hear that from EV detractors when the first battery fires make the news.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Yeah, it's not like there are fire hazards in regular production vehicles. Oh wait, I did find a few. Ford 12 million vehicles recalled for Cruise Control fire hazard. GM 1.5 million midsize cars recalled for engine fire. Honda recalls 646,000 Fits for fire hazard. Hyundai-Kia Motors is recalling more than 35,000 cars with fire-prone electrical wiring systems. Ferrari recalls more than 1,000 458 Italia for engine fire.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Exactly! I worked in the automotive industry and the head in clouds additude of many on this forum has always bothered me. Its not a conspiracy by the big car companys to keep EVs away and make them expensive. It takes a lot of time, money, and testing to make anything that will be reliable enough to be mass produced and sold for use on the road.
        • 4 Years Ago
        please, that has nothing to do with why big auto is stalling on EVs. what a load.
        watch who killed the electric car
      • 4 Years Ago
      If you're a reader here, then you know it wasn't FORD who build the first model of it's Focus EV, it was a supplier.

      Secondly, as to the EV1 conspiracy, just look at FOX LIES, and Niel Cavoto, spent a hour yesterday blasting the VOLT. You're Exxon Shareholder Money Well Spent?

      Remember, during the natural gas conversion of home heating, the Coal Industry had DOCTORS out proclaiming the health effects of breathing Coal Dust. Show me a Monopoly that Isn't a Conspiracy. A Monopoly's first move is to KILL INNOVATION that can threaten their Monopoly.

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