The Future of Cars Was Hydrogen, Once

Alan Salzman worried VantagePoint was putting hundreds of millions into a golf car when it backed Tesla.

Published: 27-Sep-2009

The enthusiasm for electric vehicles keeps growing, but only few years ago the auto industry was betting on hydrogen-powered fuel cell cars.

That led to some sleepless nights for early backers of electric cars — including Alan E. Salzman, the chief executive officer of VantagePoint, a pioneer in green capital venture and an early believer in Tesla, the electric car company.

“We were afraid this was going to be our Segway,” Mr Salzman said, referring to the funky personal transportation device that has failed to achieve much commercial success. “You’re putting how many hundreds of millions of dollars into a golf cart?”

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