Looking at oil prices these days may have you thinking that the sky’s the limit. However, what’s unfavorable, or even detrimental, to one side can benefit the other. Price hikes will just pump more money into alternative energies and R&D. Specifically, green hydrogen and its use as a source of electric power, heat and cooling energy could, along with carbon capture, see unprecedented growth, especially after it took so long for the world to start waking up to its potential.
Canadian manufacturer Ballard (Nasdaq: BLDP) ended the first quarter of 2018 on a total revenue of USD 20.1 million. During the same period a year ago, it generated USD 6.2 million in one-time revenue from technology transfers and engineering support. This amount needs to be taken into account, that is, taken off, if the goal is to paint an accurate picture of year-over-year growth. Still, the company’s gross margin was 33 percent.
Like Canadian competitor Ballard, Hydrogenics (Nasdaq: HYGS) has made investments in several markets, most of all, China, where demand for fuel cells is projected to rise. Both have entered into agreements with Alstom and Siemens. That the latter two have founded a joint venture to merge their railroad divisions suggests to me that keeping two experienced suppliers on board is part of their failsafe system. Ballard has also partnered with China’s CRRC, the world’s largest rolling stock manufacturer.
Plug Power’s first-quarter results were well received by stock market analysts. Net loss was USD 0.07, less than expected, while revenue surged 90 percent year over year, topping USD 29.1 million. At year’s end, earnings are expected to be between USD 155 million and USD 180 million. It has been reported that multiple new, and large, corporations were now part of Plug’s customer base. One of them is said to be a food company that ranks among the top five in the United States.
Tesla’s first-quarter report showed another record loss, USD 700 million, which lowered its cash by a whopping USD 600 million. Considering this, it seems unimportant that revenue jumped to USD 3.41 billion or that Model 3 production is being ramped up to full capacity. Tesla has been burning through massive amounts of money.
Nikola Motors, which is developing Class 8 semitrucks that use fuel cell range extenders, announced an order for 800 units from Budweiser while suing Tesla for USD 2 billion, alleging patent infringement. Nikola’s announcement got so much attention that FedEx Corp. put out a notice on the receipt of a fuel cell delivery van.
The work of Joi Scientific Inc. continues to be shrouded in secrecy. Who are these Americans who have been present on the scene for months, but haven’t really explained what they’re doing? What does the company, which seems to have already collected millions in investor money, want to offer? A finished product or services only? Moreover, why all this secrecy? H2-international had the opportunity to interview the CEO of Joi, Traver Kennedy, to learn more about the company’s plans for 2017 and beyond.
The United States Congress has restored the 30 percent investment tax credit for fuel cell power generation and forklifts, extending it through 2022, with a reduction in the final two years. The credit would be 26 percent in 2021 and 22 percent in 2022. This brings the fuel cell incentive in line with incentives for other advanced and renewable energy technologies.
In April 2016, eZelleron, a German startup, filed for bankruptcy protection (see H2-international, August 2016). Now, its former CEO, Sascha Kühn, was charged with violating accounting principles, committing fraud and deepening the company’s insolvency, the Dresdner Neueste Nachrichten newspaper has reported. Kühn left Germany for the United States to head kraftwerk Inc. and eZelleron Inc. based in Silicon Valley. He is alleged to have filed balance sheets too late
Ballard Power’s stock recently came under pressure for not fulfilling all the expectations of market analysts. The last quarter of 2017 didn’t see a net loss of USD 0.01 but USD 0.02 per share. The net loss for the whole of last year was as much as USD 0.05, although on a non-adjusted basis. It means that despite a considerable leap toward breakeven in 2017