September 19th, 2007 | Published in Google.org
Last week, we had the distinct pleasure of a visit by rock legend Neil Young. Neil is touring the country in a soon-to-be converted 1959 Lincoln Continental Mark IV named Linc-Volt, spreading the word about plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and vehicle-to-grid technology. As part of the trip, Neil and his crew are filming a documentary of their travels and the folks they meet along the way.
Neil piloted the big white Continental down from his Broken Arrow Ranch over to see us and get a closer look at the RechargeIT program, including Machu Picchu and our solar charging station. Orchestrating the tour were our own Larry Brilliant, RechargeIT Project Manager Kirsten Olsen and Lead Engineer Alec Proudfoot, Google Green Czar Bill Weihl, and Green Business Operations Associate Lacy Caruthers.
Regarding his vision for the Linc-Volt and its unique potential to draw attention to sustainable transportation solutions to combat climate change, Neil summed it up this way: "Classic Americana from then meeting the Americana of now."
From Mountain View, the journey continues to Wichita, Kansas, where the Mark IV will be converted from a carbureted gas guzzler to a bio-diesel series PHEV. After Neil's fall tour and annual Bridge School Benefit Concert, the Linc-Volt will undergo interior restoration. Then the bio-diesel-electro-cruiser will power on to Detroit; back to its factory in Wixom, Michigan; and then to the east coast.
We look forward seeing the Linc-Volt in its full electron-powered tailfin glory back in Mountain View, and can't wait to charge it up at our station. If you happen to see a '59 MK IV whirring into your rearview mirror, get your wits about you because a rock legend is about to pass you in a chromed bio-diesel PHEV. As he notes about this epic journey, "We all charge the grid in our own way."