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LincVolt swims against conversion tide

Musician Neil Young has spent his life swimming against the tide with his music and political views. Now with LincVolt, he has expanded his world view to the automobile.

Putting together a crack team of innovators which includes Jonathan Goodwin of H-Line Conversions and Uli Kruger of Alternative Energy Technologies, Young has taken the lead in developing alternative fuel alternatives for existing, and even classic cars. Working in the H-Line Conversions workshop in Wichita, the team is well on its way to successfully converting a 1959 Lincoln Continental convertible into an electric car.

Originally a typical Lincoln which ran at an estimated 10 miles per gallon, the original plan was for the car to undergo a hybrid or biofuel conversion. H-Line has successfully converted a number of H1 and H2 Hummers from gasoline to biodiesel. But with the development of the UQM electric propulsion system and the H-3 electric engine, the plan was changed.

Young has touted the conversion on many television programs such as “The Charlie Rose Show” and “Late Show with David Letterman.” “This is a labor of love,” Young said, conceding that the conversion is not something that can be done by the average mechanic. “But it is surely something that Ford, GM or Chrysler can do,” he said.

Goodwin claims that the H-3 engine, which uses a generator to power the propulsion batteries, compares favorably to GM’s Voltec technology. The group has already run a number of trials, with plans for a future trip to Detroit, and perhaps a cross-country drive.

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