Plug Power – Big Opening in Rochester

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On February 22, Plug Power (Nasdaq: PLUG) celebrated the Grand Opening of a new factory in Rochester in the United States. Reportedly, the site will create more than 180 jobs and produce as many as 400,000 membrane electrode assemblies, compared to a company-wide production of 10,000 in 2018. The big increase in capacity is thought to be achieved by using a technology that the manufacturer obtained by buying American Fuel Cell. Additionally, tests of courier vans have created high expectations.

For example, one FedEx vehicle has clocked in over 14,000 on-road miles (over 25,000 kilometers) so far and its range has been extended to 160 miles (257 kilometers), which, according to the company, is 166 percent greater than an all-electric solution. It would be a big deal for Plug if a test like this resulted in FedEx placing a large order with the company. Competitors such as Ballard and Hydrogenics are also exploring the market for fuel cell vans, for example, in partnership with UPS.

Plug has gone through several funding rounds and the reasons for some were a bit opaque. And yet, if I look at what fueling stations the company is building these days, business could grow at rates resembling those of Nel. Plug converts electric forklift trucks, that is, replaces their batteries with stacks developed in-house. It also puts up the fueling infrastructure. However, the company trades in hydrogen; it doesn’t produce the gas. And while a number of businesses have already begun to manufacture fueling stations, Plug can rely on ample experience with daily hydrogen use.

Risk warning

Share trading can result in a total loss of your investment. Consider spreading the risk as a sensible precaution. The fuel cell companies mentioned in this article are small and mid-cap ones, i.e., they may experience high stock volatility. This article is not to be taken as a recommendation of what shares to buy or sell – it comes without any explicit or implicit guarantee or warranty. All information is based on publicly available sources and the content of this article reflects the author’s opinion only. This article focuses on mid-term and long-term prospects and not short-term profit. The author may own shares in any of the companies mentioned in it.

Written by Sven Jösting

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