KANSAS CITY, Mo.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 16, 2003--After 35 persistent years in the laboratory, hydrogen is finally beginning to emerge into the marketplace.
Roger Billings, who built the world's first hydrogen powered car as a high school science project in 1965, today announced the re-formation of Billings Energy Corporation. The new company will continue the development and commercialization of the Billings Fuel Cell and other hydrogen energy technologies including metal hydride storage, and hydrogen production equipment.
Billings Energy Corporation, the company he formed in 1973 as the vehicle for his pioneering work in hydrogen energy technology, was sold by Billings in 1984 when, after years of hard work, he realized the world was not yet ready for hydrogen energy.
During those earlier years of the Company, Billings not only proved that modern automobiles could be converted to run on hydrogen fuel, but he advanced and perfected internal combustion engine conversions, inventing ways to deal with such obstacles as nitric oxide air pollution, backfire, and the safe storage of hydrogen onboard the vehicle. His developmental work in hydrogen storage, after an exhaustive effort to utilize several undesirable options, finally resulted in metal hydride storage, for which he received a number of patents.
After selling control of his company in 1984, Billings turned to education, helping to form the International Academy of Science, a non-accredited, alternative education, institution of higher learning with a charter to promote the flow of scientific research and development from the laboratory to the marketplace. This approach resulted in viable companies and marketable products, as the Academy achieved its goal by teaching students to take ideas from the conceptual stage all the way through to commercialization.
Parallel to his work in hydrogen energy and education, Billings was also an innovator in the computer field. When the microprocessor chip came out in the early 1970's, Billings jumped on the opportunity and developed his own microcomputer line -- one of the first -- and with the Billings Computer System, founded the Billings Computer Corporation. In the early days of his work in the computer field, Billings made a break-through design for a computer networking system, which he patented and which came to be known as client/server computing -- the system now adopted worldwide, becoming the predominant method for networking computers.
More recently, Billings established a computer networking company -- WideBand Corporation -- to launch his high-speed networking design called WideBand. The new Gigabit Ethernet standards are partially based on innovations and concepts he developed and patented in the early 1990s as part of his WideBand Networking technology. As the next step, he developed products with the capability of operating Ethernet at gigabit data rates over conventional LAN cable. WideBand customers now enjoy the performance benefits of Gigabit Ethernet without the expense of rewiring their premises. WideBand Corporation became a public company in 2000 and is today noted for the distinctive design, enhanced features, and U.S.-based manufacture of high-speed networking products.
When the current education crisis in America first came to light in the late 1990's with the reports that America's children were coming up in last place among developing nations in subjects like math and science, Billings turned his creative attention again to the education field, with the determination to fight back by moving ahead through technology. By studying the science of learning and incorporating an interactive feedback system into the process, he designed a powerful, computer-based learning tool, which he named Acellus.
Acellus integrates time-proven methods of teaching with the latest advancements in technology. Using video lectures prepared by the best educators in America, the system delves into each topic to the necessary level for the student to understand and be able to move on. The system's sophisticated feedback capability makes it possible for creators of the coursework to analyze where students are having problems and to make adjustments, which can be implemented immediately into Acellus systems at remote locations and students can see the changes as soon as the next day. Schools throughout the country are now using Acellus.
Today, Billings is once again working on his first dream -- incorporating into practical, everyday life the widespread use of renewable, clean, hydrogen energy. Now, with the $1.2 billion hydrogen fuel cell development plan of President Bush in America, and the 5 billion Euro hydrogen development plan recently announced by the European community, the time has come to make this aspiration a reality.
"This is a day I have dreamed of for a long time," acknowledged Billings at the re-establishing of his old company, Billings Energy Corporation. "I have long known the benefits of a hydrogen energy system, and at last I think I am going to live to see it come about. Of course, I aim to be right in the middle of it, making it happen."
Billings has been at this point before and knows, better than most, the real cost of the dream -- in time and in dollars. But now, more than ever, he also knows that he was right, years ago as head of the first Billings Energy Corporation, when he warned that if we did not change our energy policy, not only would we severely, perhaps irreparably impact the environment, someday we "would pay for foreign oil with American blood."
Billings is now in the process of raising $100 million from private investors to launch his new initiative.
Roger Billings and his hydrogen dream are featured in the July 14, 2003 issue of Time Magazine and will be the subject of John Gibson's The Big Story, on Fox Cable News, July 16, 2003.
Information about Billings Energy Corporation can be found at www.billingsenergy.com. WideBand Corporation information is available at www.wband.com. Acellus information can be found at www.acellus.com. The website of the International Academy of Science is located at www.science.edu.
Billings Energy Corporation
Eileen Dayton, 816-220-0300