BBsGarage
BBsGarage Reader
6/3/08 7:45 a.m.

Again.

http://www.cnn.com/2008/TECH/ptech/06/02/young.electric.car.ap/index.html

WICHITA, Kansas (AP) -- Neil Young, the rocker who provided some of the soundtrack to Vietnam-era protests, is again trying to change the world -- with his car.

Neil Young wants to use his convertible as a template to make electric cars more mainstream.

Young has teamed up with Johnathan Goodwin, a Wichita mechanic who has developed a national reputation for re-engineering the power units of big cars to get more horsepower but use less fuel.

The two are looking to convert Young's 1959 Lincoln Continental convertible to operate on an electric battery.

Ultimately, they said, they want the Continental to provide a model for the world's first affordable mass-produced electric-powered automobile.

"Johnathan and this car are going to make history," Young told The Wichita Eagle.

"We're going to change the world; we're going to create a car that will allow us to stop giving our wealth to other countries for petroleum."

Young has poured about $120,000 so far into the project, Goodwin said.

What's more, the prototype power system worked during a 12-mile test drive of the car last week -- albeit with a few glitches.

"She was awesome," Young said of the battery-operated car. "Her acceleration was incredible, she moved with hardly a sound; it was so quiet we could hear the wind through the tags of other cars."

The drive almost ended in disaster when Goodwin, who controls acceleration with a knob in the back seat, twisted it the wrong way while approaching an entrance ramp and the vehicle lurched toward the rear of another car.

Young, in the passenger seat, was able to hit the brakes in time.

"Still needs work," said Goodwin, 37.

Young, 62, said he came across taped interviews of Goodwin eight months ago on the Internet, including a segment for the MTV show "Pimp My Ride." Goodwin's clientele includes California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who had Goodwin work on his Hummer.

Young said he set out wanting his car to be able to use biodiesel, but later asked Goodwin whether they could instead power it with batteries and use it as a template to make electric cars more mainstream.

"The technology to make a practical and affordable electric car has been around for a long time," Goodwin said. "There are all sorts of ways of doing it and all sorts of ways to work out how to make it work on a national scale."

For Young, the project may finally complete a mission he set for himself with his music.

"You know, I thought long ago you could change the world by writing songs," he said.

"But you can't change the world by writing songs. Oh, you can inspire a few people, get some of them to change their thinking about something. But you can't change the world by writing songs.

"But we could change it with this car."

jrw1621
jrw1621 New Reader
6/3/08 8:10 a.m.

The above article says: Neil Young wants to use his convertible as a template to make electric cars more mainstream.

So, what does he choose for this "mainstreaming"? Quite possibly the least mainstream car that he could find. I think the article should read, "Neil Young has enough cash that he wants to build something that no one else has."

914Driver
914Driver GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
6/3/08 8:14 a.m.

Some serious washing machine motors to move that load around.

Chris_V
Chris_V SuperDork
6/3/08 8:49 a.m.

was just mentioning on another board that I'm contemplating not putting the 1UZ in my '63 Comet, and instead going with a 9" DC motor and Optima yellow tops. 0-60 in the 6 second bracket, but unfortunately only a 30-50 mile range on a charge. Wish we could get the range that GM's EV1 got with it's NiMH batteries...: http://www.portev.org/commentary/living_in_the_past.htmI

poopshovel
poopshovel Dork
6/3/08 9:00 a.m.

If only he was as dedicated to learning how to play the guitar.

John Brown
John Brown GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
6/3/08 9:32 a.m.

How hard is it to combine a generator/alternator or two onto a front mounted stud shaft coming out of the front side of the motor? It will never fully charge but SHOULD help maintain for an extended period.

Think about the alternators mounted on a bracket facing the engine driven by gears or cogs.

16vCorey
16vCorey Dork
6/3/08 9:48 a.m.

Why couldn't you put an alternator (with a gear reduction to really spin the crap out of it) right inside of each hub? It seems like that could produce a fair amount of juice.

triumph7
triumph7 New Reader
6/3/08 10:40 a.m.
poopshovel wrote: If only he was as dedicated to learning how to play the guitar.

I can take his guitar playing, it's his "singing" that needs work!

Seriously, for $120K what has he done thats special? The car apparently doesn't even have a controller as his mechanic had to turn knobs in the back seat. No mention whatsoever of the car's range either. So I can spend about $20K and get a developed kit for a Civic. Where'd the other $100K go Neil?

AngryCorvair
AngryCorvair GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
6/3/08 11:52 a.m.

REV: Relocated Emissions Vehicle. Unless the batteries are recharged by wind, hydro, or solar.

Purplehaze
Purplehaze New Reader
6/3/08 12:30 p.m.

I'm with Triumph7. Didn't a couple average Joes convert a Metro to electric for Challenge money a little while ago? 2K or so worth of forklift parts and they had a little electric you could drive like normal, with a limited range.

How the hell do you spend 120K and still have the mechanic in the back with a knob?

therex
therex Dork
6/3/08 1:11 p.m.

I just hope Mr. Young will remember that a southern man don't need him around anyhow.

Gimp
Gimp Dork
6/3/08 1:52 p.m.

He's a big train fan. I wonder if all roads in the future will have three rails.

SupraWes
SupraWes HalfDork
6/3/08 3:52 p.m.
AngryCorvair wrote: REV: Relocated Emissions Vehicle. Unless the batteries are recharged by wind, hydro, or solar.

Even if not I would imagine the power companies are using petroleum much more efficiently than a 1959 Lincoln or any other car for that matter.

Wally
Wally SuperDork
6/4/08 12:48 a.m.
Purplehaze wrote: I'm with Triumph7. Didn't a couple average Joes convert a Metro to electric for Challenge money a little while ago? 2K or so worth of forklift parts and they had a little electric you could drive like normal, with a limited range. How the hell do you spend 120K and still have the mechanic in the back with a knob?

25k was spent on a mail order Russian woman to sit in the back and turn the knob so the mechanic isn't stuck in the car all the time.

Chris_V
Chris_V SuperDork
6/4/08 8:01 a.m.
AngryCorvair wrote: REV: Relocated Emissions Vehicle. Unless the batteries are recharged by wind, hydro, or solar.

I read an interesting article on that, that explains how even using a coal fired plant, EVs reduce pollution and carbon emissions by about 90% over even the cleanest internal combustion engines. Modern power plants are vastly more efficient at making energy than internal combustion engines, and their emissions are highly regulated and run very clean in comparison. And of course, by recharging on off-peak hours in the evening, it will actually improve electric power plant efficiency. Since the plants are already running, you don't INCREASE the amount of emissions the plant makes by adding EVs to the mix, while you do reduce ICE emissions.

That's why EVs are so often considered ZEVs, due to not adding any pollution at the power plant level compared to what is already coming out of that plant.

stumpmj
stumpmj HalfDork
6/4/08 8:31 a.m.

You need to define what pollution you're reffering to. A modern ICE will actually put fewer particulate, HC, and NOx emmisions out the tail pipe than go into the intake once the catalytic converters have warmed up. If you put a ton of EVs on the road, you will increase the need for eletrical power. The plants don't run at 100% output at night right now. To get more power to recharge electric cars, you'll be bunring more coal. And that definitely isn't clean.

Chris_V
Chris_V SuperDork
6/4/08 9:14 a.m.

Actually, many studies have shown that not to always be the case. Running the plant at more efficient levels in off peak hours doesn't increase the amount of pollution it makes vs current levels.

Here's an intersting comparison for NOx and CO2 emissions: http://www.lincolnev.com/nevcleaner.html

and from here: http://www.electroauto.com/info/pollmyth.shtml

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH GRM+ Memberand Dork
6/4/08 10:11 a.m.
914Driver wrote: Some serious washing machine motors to move that load around.

I think it was a good choice of car for this purpose: It roughly matches the dimensions and weight of an average modern car.

ignorant
ignorant SuperDork
6/4/08 6:57 p.m.
Chris_V wrote:
AngryCorvair wrote: REV: Relocated Emissions Vehicle. Unless the batteries are recharged by wind, hydro, or solar.
I read an interesting article on that, that explains how even using a coal fired plant, EVs reduce pollution and carbon emissions by about 90% over even the cleanest internal combustion engines. Modern power plants are vastly more efficient at making energy than internal combustion engines, and their emissions are highly regulated and run very clean in comparison. And of course, by recharging on off-peak hours in the evening, it will actually improve electric power plant efficiency. Since the plants are already running, you don't INCREASE the amount of emissions the plant makes by adding EVs to the mix, while you do reduce ICE emissions. That's why EVs are so often considered ZEVs, due to not adding any pollution at the power plant level compared to what is already coming out of that plant.

holy crap.. I agree with chris_v.. Good Job Sir!

MrJoshua
MrJoshua Dork
6/4/08 7:41 p.m.

Yay! You both win!

Purplehaze
Purplehaze New Reader
6/4/08 11:45 p.m.

Alright, I've whined about how much Neil Young's car cost. Now I have to say that keeping that smooth old convertible on the road for all to enjoy, while eliminating its guzzling flaws, is obviously the Lord's work.

EVs are the only future that makes sense. The required infrastructure already goes right to your house. If most IC cars were replaced with electrics, then we could just upgrade single power plants as technology and need allows, instead of whole fleets of cars. I consider the Prius to be today's feedback carburetor, the awkward transition tech from one paradigm to the next.

Rampant electric car use would free up oil for the remaining ICE vehicles, allowing the extravagant roar of things like Top Fuel dragsters to continue filling us with unreasoning glee.

Now if the price/weight of batteries would just come down......

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