Neil Young aims to “Repower the American Dream”, but not through his music

Neil Young may not be rockin’ the free world as hard as he once did, but he’s still trying to make a difference. However the legendary rocker is using technology rather than music to change the world this time around.
He has teamed up with some bright young scientists to convert his Lincoln Continental into a vehicle that can run on alternative engine sources (likely electricity), ideally getting 100 miles to the gallon (if any fuel is required at all – details are still sketchy).
“Our goal is to inspire a generation by creating a clean automobile propulsion technology that serves the needs of the 21st Century and delivers performance that is a reflection of the driver’s spirit,” reads the Web site, “By creating this new power technology we hope to reduce the demand for petro-fuels enough to eliminate the need for war over energy supplies, thereby enhancing the security of the USA and other nations throughout the world.”
The car has been entered into The Automotive X Prize, which will pit various technologies against each other in 2009 and 2010 during races across the US. Hopefully, the competition will result in various solutions which produce no emissions, use little – if any – fuel and have the potential to be mass-marketed. In a recent blog I wrote that the current fuel crisis will also produce opportunities – opportunities for bright young minds to develop solutions that will lessen our dependence on fossil fuels. This effort, and the Automotive X Prize in general, is a great step towards that goal.
Hopefully, technologies that are developed can be transferred to the trucking industry as well. While the current cost of diesel has this industry against the ropes and on wobbly legs, if the current crisis is the catalyst that spawns the creation of new alternatives to foreign oil, this may well be one of the greatest blessings in disguise we could have asked for.

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James Menzies is editor of Today's Trucking. He has been covering the Canadian trucking industry for more than 20 years and holds a CDL. Reach him at or follow him on Twitter at @JamesMenzies.

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