September 20, 2010


LincVolt is a 1959 Lincoln Continental, owned by rock star Neil Young, which has undergone a “green” conversion with an electric motor and onboard alternate fuel-based turbine generator. Perrone Robotics has imbued LincVolt with her onboard sensing, telemetry, controls, and artificial intelligence.


The Project

In 2008, with rising gas prices, increasing clean energy demands, and increasingly limited natural resources, rock legend Neil Young took his 1959 Lincoln Continental and began a process of converting it into an energy efficient and clean vehicle. Adding a 200 KW UQM electric motor, 35 KW battery pack, and onboard Capstone micro-turbine for recharging in motion, “LincVolt” became a showcase for what electric vehicle (EV) technology can do now.

LincVolt’s Intelligent Transformation

With sponsorship from Oracle corporation, Perrone Robotics became involved early on providing the LincVolt Intelligent Dashboard (LID), an onboard platform for gathering sensor data and statistics about the car’s performance. These stats, GPS, and other environmental data are pushed to a Web site in real-time for remote monitoring and archiving. After seeing what rich functionality could be provided in short order, the LID grew in functionality to include onboard component controls, battery monitoring, micro-turbine controls, safety interlocks, control of stock dashboard gauges, and a touchscreen display and GUI.

The LID software was rapidly built atop Perrone Robotics’ Java-based MAX platform. Since it’s first installation, the LID has rapidly grown and adapted in functionality thanks to the high-level robotics and automation software services provided by MAX and the richness and simplicity of programming offered by Java.

The LincVolt Dream

Since initial involvement, Neil’s passion and the LincVolt dream has drawn Perrone Robotics into a deeper role and integral part of the LincVolt family. Paul Perrone is now LincVolt’s CTO overseeing the technology program for LincVolt, Perrone Robotics has continued to evolve the LID as a first class industrial-grade Extended Range Electric Vehicle software platform based on Java and MAX, and Oracle has recently provided additional sponsorship support for Perrone Robotics to imbue LincVolt with autonomous self-driving capabilities. All 100% Java-based and MAX-based.

LincVolt in the News

LincVolt advances its state of the art every day. Stay tuned to the LincVolt site for more information. In addition to demonstrations at major conferences and the SEMA automotive show, a theatrical documentary is being filmed about the project, and more events showcasing LincVolt’s capability are on the horizon. Some links discussing Perrone Robotics’ role with LincVolt are listed here: