Robert Bollinger made a fortune selling shampoo. His next move was “a stupid idea”, he said, in–sisting: “Let’s call it what it is.”

Bollinger started an electric truck company. “My ignorance was helpful, because if I’d known how insanely complicated this was, it would have given me pause,” he said. As the sole funder of Bollinger Motors, he poured tens of millions of dollars of his own cash into the start-up. (He had done well when private equity firm Permira took control of the shampoo firm he ran, John Masters Organics, in a $336m [£262m] deal in 2016.)

However, Bollinger was recently joined on his quixotic quest by outside investors betting that there will be a market for his boxy pick-up trucks and SUVs, priced



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