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Thu Sep 5, 2019, 05:12 PM

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



This story appears in the September 30, 2019 issue of Forbes Magazine.

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.

From a Phoenix headquarters that will also build prototype semis, Milton has raised more than $500 million from such investors as European heavy-duty vehicle maker CNH Industrial, manufacturing and tech giant Bosch, hedge fund ValueAct, South Korea’s solar powerhouse Hanwha, Norwegian energy company Nel Hydrogen and Worthington Industries, a metals manufacturer. He needs at least $1 billion to build a factory in Coolidge, Arizona, put the first trucks on the road and open ten fueling stations in California and Arizona.

CNH’s $250 million investment is a big step for Nikola, now valued at $3 billion, and for Milton — with a stake of more than 40%, he’s now worth at least $1.1 billion, Forbes estimates, making him the first hydrogen truck billionaire.... more: https://www.forbes.com/sites/alanohnsman/2019/09/05/behind-new-billionaire-trevor-miltons-3-billion-push-to-make-america-run-on-hydrogen/

700+ Solar Hydrogen Stations across the US- selling H2 at a planned price of $6.00 Kg to anyone that wants it- a full tank of H2 for a Toyota Mirai would cost $30 and would move 4 200 pound adults and a 4,000 pound car >300 miles. That's cheap mobility.





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Reply Forbes: Behind New Billionaire Trevor Milton's $3 Billion Push To Make America Run On Hydrogen (Original post)
Aquila Sep 5 OP
oflguy Sep 6 #1
His Daughter Sep 6 #2
Aquila Sep 6 #3
oflguy Sep 8 #5
oflguy Sep 8 #4
His Daughter Sep 9 #6
Aquila Sep 9 #7
His Daughter Sep 9 #8
oflguy Sep 10 #10
His Daughter Sep 10 #12
oflguy Sep 11 #14
oflguy Sep 10 #9
His Daughter Sep 10 #11
oflguy Sep 10 #13

Response to Aquila (Original post)

Fri Sep 6, 2019, 12:06 AM

1. Its his money

He can spend it any way he wants

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Response to Aquila (Original post)

Fri Sep 6, 2019, 11:13 AM

2. Big energy and the government are already weighing in on this

I am not normally a conspiracy theorist, but I will lay this out anyway.

It is trivial to make H2 from solar power. It is inefficient but its free once you have the set up. There are people today designing and building hardware that will take solar power and produce hydrogen you can package and use, even sell. All sorts of regulatory walls are being set up against that.

Reasons vary, but the bottom line is taxes. Its kind of like using fryer oil in a diesel car...no motor taxes. As e-powered cars become more plentiful, the tax structure may change to tax the vehicles per mile or by weight. However, the thought of people producing their own fuel (solar to battery or H2) is making policy makers woozy. They control how we live by controlling the price of energy.

Big energy is also against it. They have supported drives to penalize home solar and drive small producers, like I was, out of the business. They want to control and tax H2 heavily as well.

This is not to say I oppose H2, I do not, and believe the fuel cells are a superior technology to what Musk is peddling.. Just reminding everyone to look at the politics driving it as well.

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Response to His Daughter (Reply #2)

Fri Sep 6, 2019, 07:48 PM

3. Excellent post showing why Hydrogen is an Energy Revolution

243 years ago, THOSE Americans kicked the Biggest Empire the world had ever seen in the teeth and sent them back across the Atlantic.

With pamphlets and muskets. And Courage.

Today's Americans are mostly boot-lickers that take orders from subhuman scum.

Maybe Americans will one day realize that THEY ARE THE GOVERNMENT, not these brainless reptiles that think they own us all.

From Rebels to Slaves - The Story of America - 1776 to 2019.

What went wrong?

In the next 24 HOURS, the US will waste around $200 MILLION DOLLARS chasing a bunch of "rebels" (that they fund) around sand dunes 8,000 miles away. This has gone on now for years.

Just a FEW DAYS of this OBSCENE WAR SPENDING COULD JUMP START A NATIONAL HYDROGEN STATION INFRASTRUCTURE.

But this money will go towards enriching the MIC

ENERGY IS NATIONAL SECURITY

How's the Petro-Dollar doing for the US?

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Response to Aquila (Reply #3)

Sun Sep 8, 2019, 11:06 AM

5. "Today's Americans are mostly boot-lickers that take orders from subhuman scum."

You sound like an authority, but I'd rather you just speak for yourself.

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Response to His Daughter (Reply #2)

Sun Sep 8, 2019, 11:04 AM

4. How do you think "big energy" plans to control and tax H2?

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Response to oflguy (Reply #4)

Mon Sep 9, 2019, 06:16 PM

6. Big energy seeks to control the energy market

Independent production threatens that objective. Currently they are using legislative approaches to stop the spread of independent producers. Mix of scare tactics (it will blow up neighborhoods) and telling the relevant government agencies they will lose revenue and authority if wildcat production is allowed. This is similar to what they have done to small solar producers like I was, not to mention destroying the value of grid tie solar in Nevada and other places.

If I get enough solar panels to allow me to pump water and create H2, I am independent of the grid. It is easier than many think, though it does take some space. With sufficient H2, I can run a fuel cell/generator, power vehicles etc. There is nothing else I need that I cannot get over radio waves (comms...). I am also not paying fuel taxes, utility taxes or funding infrastructure. You can effectively opt out without a dramatic change in lifestyle.

This cannot work in an urban environment where most government planners want us to be. However, out here in the west, it can work just fine.

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Response to His Daughter (Reply #6)

Mon Sep 9, 2019, 06:34 PM

7. US Solar Hydrogen Pioneer Mike Strizki has proven it works in New Jersey since 2005

http://hydrogenhouseproject.org/index.html

Scientific American: Inside the Solar Hydrogen House - No More Power Bills EVER (2008)
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/hydrogen-house/

Long video, worth it

For all you who say "H2 can't be stored because...embrittlement" - Mike stores H2 in old propane tanks







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Response to Aquila (Reply #7)

Mon Sep 9, 2019, 09:19 PM

8. Not exactly apples to apples

The eventual design needs to be idiot usable, no expertise required. His approach requires expertise also uses more space than is available in Newark per person too. Its cool but its not consumer ready.

One of the reasons basic off grid solar is not that popular is that it has to work all the time, every time without any attention being paid to it. It does not do that without a lot of effort. To go offgrid with H2 can approach that, but it will take some innovation in consumer grade "packaging"

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Response to Aquila (Reply #7)

Tue Sep 10, 2019, 12:35 PM

10. What is Mike's payback?

You forgot that little detail, obviously.

Just because Mike paid for his little project with other people's money does not skirt the reality that there is a point in time when the system should pay for itself. Of course, there is that nagging little issue of maintenance costs, which must be included in the formula.

Got any idea what that is, hydrogen boi?

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Response to oflguy (Reply #10)

Tue Sep 10, 2019, 04:42 PM

12. I too am thinking H2 is going to be very significant in the future

Since BEVs are not going to fill all required niches.

To me making it idiot friendly is the key. Using the existing supply chain, we could readily substitute H2 for some liquid fuels. However home generation and refueling is more of a challenge.

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Response to oflguy (Reply #10)

Wed Sep 11, 2019, 10:57 AM

14. Aquilla???

Boy, ask you one simple question and you clam up.

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Response to His Daughter (Reply #6)

Tue Sep 10, 2019, 12:33 PM

9. Good Luck

Going off grid is neither easy nor cheap. I have a customer who spent a quarter of a million dollars installing sufficient equipment to go off grid with solar cells. He still has the option of connecting to the grid through a transfer switch, though.

His backup option was an (existing) natural gas generator, which, of course, is expensive to operate. It was no small endeavor. His house requires an 800 amp service, and he still has the option to connect to the grid through a transfer switch

I have never dealt with hydrogen generation, but I can imagine it is likewise expensive to incorporate into a total system. All this, (solar and hydrogen) of course requires land to build it on. You sound like land is not an issue.

Of course the customer I mentioned will never recoup his investment. He did it as his little pet project, I think, just to be able to say he was "off grid."

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Response to oflguy (Reply #9)

Tue Sep 10, 2019, 04:39 PM

11. 800 amp service is helluva a lot of power

The "vision" is that instead of pumping excess power on to the grid during the day you generate hydrogen and use it in a generator in the evening. Though there are efficiency losses, it can end up being cheaper if your utility pays little for excess power or has the costly setup that the power companies got through in Nevada. CA pays better than most. On a practical level, you need batteries as well.

Once you have H2 it is just another gaseous fuel. Most internal combustion motors can run off of it with a change of carburetor.

The generation of the H2 is trivial (remember electrolysis of water from high school) the hard part is compressing and storing it readily. That is where the development is going on. The goal is a safe and idiot proof way to do it. That is harder than it seems. Once it is out there, independent H2 production becomes a reality.

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Response to His Daughter (Reply #11)

Tue Sep 10, 2019, 08:51 PM

13. I'm sure you noticed Mike's rows of storage tanks

Hydrogen is far from being new as a fuel supply. There are reasons it is not popular. I like the idea though of using it for mass transportation like trains and it has some value in military vehicles where cost is not a primary concern.

If Hydrogen Boi is trying to promote something, he sure is going about it the wrong way. His arrogant, better-than-thou personality is rude and offensive. He invites ridicule when he never engages in meaningful discussion, but rather uses every post to demean people. He seems very angry and unhappy.

I applaud your open-minded thinking on new technologies. I definitely believe more people should take an interest in alternative energy sources. The sun is indirectly the source of all our energy. It is silly to ignore it as a more direct power source like solar and wind, but what turns people off is people like Hydrogen Boi when they start saying fossil fuels can be eliminated in the near future, then try to laugh at people that know better. He is a poor representative of alternative sources.

I have solar on my home and am grid-connected. I'll never be off-grid. Its too expensive, but I had fun installing it, and like the reduced electric bills. Fortunately, I didn't have to pay anybody to do the installation.

So keep dreaming and thinking. I admire the spirit.

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