The hybrid and the damage done

An experimental hybrid vehicle owned by rocker Neil Young sparked a blaze when its charging system was used improperly.

An experimental hybrid vehicle owned by performer Neil Young sparked a blaze when its charging system was used improperly, according to reports. The fire destroyed guitars and other career memorabilia that was being warehoused by Young.

Young had converted a nearly 20 foot 1959 Lincoln Continental into a hybrid electric vehicle that also runs on biodiesel. The project was happening under the auspice of LincVolt, a start-up company Young founded by retrofit classic cars with environmentally friendly drivetrains.

Firefighters managed to salvage the vehicle, and an undeterred Young vowed to forge ahead with the project and rebuild.

While the incident does not mean that all hybrid cars are hazardous to guitars, it does underscore the perils of pioneering new technology. Ford's Model T was initially prone to overheating, and drivers had to check fuel levels with a dipstick. Later models corrected those flaws.

I'm sure that the final LincVolt will have a better charging system as well. I've never heard of a hybrid vehicle burning down anyone's house, and other risks, such as electrocution, are widely overblown. Young's only made headlines because it was his car.

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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