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Neil Young has a lotta love for his eco-car

The legendary rocker has written an album about his LincVolt electric-car project, featuring the crisis in the auto industry and the economic downturn in general.

Neil Young in his music video
Neil Young rides in his LincVolt in the video for "Johnny Magic," dedicated to LincVolt designer Johnathan Goodwin. Shakey Pictures

Legendary rocker Neil Young is releasing a new album inspired by his electric-car project LincVolt.

The "grunge father," along with biodiesel pioneer Johnathan Goodwin, are developing a commercially viable electric power system in a 1959 Mark IV Lincoln Continental, which they hope will get the equivalent of 100 miles per gallon and take the $10 million Progressive Insurance Automotive X Prize.

Neil Young and dog
Neil Young with his dog, Carl, in the video for "Johnny Magic." Shakey Pictures

Young's classic "Long May You Run" could have been a proper theme song for the project. Instead, he's written new material about the LincVolt, featuring the crisis in the car industry and the economic downturn in general.

In "Fuel Line," he sings about the car's technology: "Awesome power of electricity, stored for you in this big battery." In "Johnny Magic," about the prize he's aiming for, "she goes long range on domestic green fuel, 100 miles a gallon is the Continental rule."

So far the concept album has received mixed reviews both in the music and green communities.

The British Telegraph gives it four stars: "Given its apparently spontaneous creation, it has the fuzzy, ragged, garage-rock feel of all his best music."

But another British publication, The Independent, only gives it two stars out of five: "Unfortunately, he's no scientific genius either, which renders the string of eco-car songs little more than bland automotive boogies."

The green community has generally been quite optimistic about the idea of a green-car album, although Green Daily does say that "the lyrics seem a little uninspired and/or overly simplistic...kinda like we're listening to something from a bygone era of uncynical rock 'n' roll."

The album is due to be released on April 7 and a documentary about the eco-rocker's project is in production. No release date for the film has been announced. In the title track, Young reveals only humble hopes for commercial success: "I am a big rock star. My sales have tanked, but I still got you, thanks."