The Green Billionaires battle ensued, with Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest questioning Elon Musk’s status as a “climate avenger.”
The Australian mining mogul launched a brutal takedown of Tesla’s boss over his disdain for green hydrogen, in which Forest has invested heavily.
He should come out and ask himself ‘Am I really a climate champion or just an entrepreneur?’ “If he knocks hydrogen, we know it only exists for a profit,” the founder of Fortescue Metals Group told The Australian.
In May, Musk, who founded electric car maker Tesla, dismissed hydrogen as a promising source of green energy, calling hydro-fuel cells “the dumbest thing I could imagine for energy storage.”
“I can’t stress this enough — the number of times I’ve been asked about hydrogen, it might be…100 times more, maybe 200 times,” Musk said.
Forrest said Musk was a “good guy” but noted that he was against hydrofuel cells because they harmed his “battery-only” business model.
Fuel cell electric vehicles combine hydrogen stored in a tank with oxygen from the air to produce electricity, and water is the byproduct that will come out of the exhaust pipe.
Unlike battery electric vehicles, such as Tesla cars, they do not need to be plugged in and are filled like conventional gas or diesel cars.
The technology is still in its early days and Australians can’t buy a hydrogen-powered car yet.
There are very few hydrogen refueling stations in Australia, with public ones located only in Canberra and Melbourne.
Forrest is in New York City to outline his company’s new $6.2 billion investment plan to replace diesel and gas with solar and wind energy within eight years.
In a conference call with his company on Tuesday, Forrest said he believed the group would “comfortably” meet its climate ambitions.
“We will be the proof, if you will, that (with) the right technology, the right strategy, and the right investment, even major polluters like us can eliminate fossil fuel use and avoid tens of millions of tons of carbon emissions over time,” he said.
Originally published as Elon’s New Battle with Australian Mining Billionaire Twiggy Forrest