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Neil Young's kooky electric beast with slightly bonkers soundtrack

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Richard Cable | 15:55 UK time, Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Grizzled alt rock legend Neil Young has recently completed two projects. The first is converting his gas-guzzling monster of a 1959 Lincoln Continental - a 20 foot, two-and-a-half tonne behemoth with a profile like an art deco flying buttress - into the LincVolt, a super-efficient green machine powered entirely by alternative fuel.

The second is his latest album, Fork in the Road, which is mostly about the LincVolt. (Even the video - see below - is spectacularly low-carbon, consisting primarily of Neil bobbing around infront of a handycam on his back porch.)

Neil Young - Fork In The Road

Young created the LincVolt with eco-car mash-up artist Johnathan Goodwin, who is even honoured on the new album with the track 'Johnny Magic'. Their aim was to 'inspire a generation by creating a clean automobile propulsion technology' and to have the car ready in time to take part in the Automotive X Prize, a $10m competition to build practical cars that can achieve 100 miles-per-gallon-equivalent and race them from California to Washington DC.

It's no secret that the 'environmentally concerned' are often perceived as, dare I say, a touch po-faced, which is what makes Neil Young's kooky electric beast and accompanying mildly bonkers soundtrack all the more enjoyable, even if neither is likely to be a defining moment in its particular genre.

The LincVolt, which bears the strapline 'repowering the American dream', is a clear statement that moving to new technologies does not require the donning of a hair shirt, the abandonment of individuality or the absence of style.

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