The large increase in the number of orders placed with each one of the fuel cell businesses analyzed in this and following articles promises a very bright future for the industry. Prototypes give way to mass production. The recent stabilization of the oil price is an effective mental tool. The road to profitability is there. The shares have potential – but not everyone has realized it yet!
The fourth quarter brought another growth boost by 70% to USD 38.4 million compared to the same quarter last year. Plug Power’s total revenue added up to more than USD 103 million, although it could have been 3.6 million more if the sale-leaseback transactions hadn’t forced the company to distribute the amount for tax reasons across contracts. Revenue was originally thought to reach USD 100 million.
As predicted several times before, #dieselgate is the driver of upcoming changes at German carmaker Volkswagen. In March 2016, it was said that the Wolfsburg-based corporation would concentrate all fuel cell activities at its Audi subsidiary. This will necessitate a move of most of the fuel cell research, which has so far been conducted in the German city of Salzgitter. Stefan Knirsch, board member and head of development at Audi, told the magazine Automobilwoche: “This January, the task of corporate research on fuel cell engines was given to Audi.” And VW’s board of directors had supported the concentration of activities.
Five years ago, some called carbazole the “wonder fuel” and “fuel source of the future,” although basic research hadn’t even been concluded yet. After intensive development, Hydrogenious Technologies has just presented a potential successor to the carbazole legacy: dibenzyl toluene. On Jan. 29, 2016, the company based in Erlangen, Germany, brought its first hydrogen storage unit based on this liquid organic hydrogen carrier (LOHC) into operation at the company’s headquarters. Around 150 people were present when Ilse Aigner, Bavaria‘s economy minister, inaugurated the system.
On March 1, 2016, Lukas Rohleder took over management of Energy Saxony. The 34-year-old replaced Robert Franke, who became head of the Office of Economic Development in Dresden, the capital of the German state of Saxony, on Oct. 1, 2015. Rohleder was last employed as the executive assistant for political communication at aireg, after he had worked as a research assistant at the Bundestag office of Germany’s finance minister, Wolfgang Schäuble.
Despite announcements to the contrary, the H2 project in Glattfelden in the Swiss canton of Zurich (see HZwei issue from July 2015) will deliver on its promises. At the beginning of March 2016, rumors had it that Axpo and Coop would stop their joint project. The project’s coordinator, Hansjörg Vock from H2 Energy, told H2-international that “the rumors weren’t true,” as “only Axpo had exited the project,” but had done so by mutual agreement.
Like in the last years, nanoFlowcell garnered a lot of attention at this year’s International Motor Show in Geneva, Switzerland. Like in the last years, there are big announcements, but little to back them up. The 2016 headlines: The QUANTiNO had successfully completed a 14-hour test drive indoors, the car’s range would soon increase to 1,000 kilometers, and a “Quant City” should be created in Switzerland. Given that there is little evidence to support these claims, it seems to confirm people’s suspicions that the announcements are primarily part of a marketing campaign and that none of the projects will be realized in the near future.
Over decades, Irmgard Scheer-Pontenagel and her husband – Hermann Scheer, who died in 2010 – had been influential figures who helped shape the renewable energy industry. After a 25-year tenure at the helm of Eurosolar, Scheer-Pontenagel has stepped down and made room for Tobias Jaletzky, who started working at the association based in Bonn, Germany, in 2013. The person supporting him as vice president, especially in matters of international business, is Lina Hedwig. Scheer-Pontenagel will continue to be the publisher of the Solarzeitalter magazine.
The number of electric vehicles in use on Austrian roads could grow from 4,700 to around 8,000 this year, according to a statement made by the country’s environmental protection agency. In 2017, the figure could jump to 23,000; in 2020, there could be around 174,000 electric cars driving in the Alpine state. Jürgen Halasz, chair of the association for electric transportation at the federal level (BEÖ, see also HZwei issue from April 2015), an organization founded at the beginning of last year, believes that even a figure of 250,000 will be possible. All of these forecasts, however, include plug-in hybrids as well.
First things first: This isn’t one of these test drive articles narrowly reporting all the various technical details or complaining about a not-so-perfect weight distribution. It is about the experiences made with Tesla’s Model S on one single day of driving, during which it quickly became clear that the author had found his new dream car.