Behind New Billionaire Trevor Milton’s $3 Billion Push To Make America Run On Hydrogen

Trevor Milton rumbles toward his audience of 2,000 in the ultimate green-energy vehicle—a red beer wagon drawn by eight Budweiser Clydesdales. “They represent how America was built,” he says of the massive horses. The audience, a mix of trucking execs, shippers, journalists and Anheuser-Busch InBev reps, roars its approval into the cavernous event center in Scotts­dale, Arizona, that’s hosting the April launch party for Nikola Motor Co. Then comes Milton’s pitch. Just as diesel replaced the Clydesdales, a new fuel source is going to make petroleum obsolete: hydrogen.

The most abundant element in the universe is a zero-emission fuel. Convert it to electricity, and the only by-products are water and heat. Hydrogen, says the 37-year-old founder and chief executive of Nikola, can power heavy-duty trucks. It goes into a fuel cell and comes out as current to power electric motors.

Hydrogen power has been an enticing mirage for six decades. General Motors unveiled a hydrogen Electrovan prototype in 1966 but never made a business of it. Shares of Ballard Power, a pioneer in fuel cells, climbed to $140 in 2000 but now languish below $5. President George W. Bush poured taxpayer money into hydrogen-fueled-car research, but fewer than 7,500 hydrogen-fuel-cell vehicles are on U.S. roads now.

Full Story by Forbes.