Considering the many possible uses of fuel cells, the market for them won’t go up in a straight line. Nor will the large-scale production of cheap renewable hydrogen be a goal that can be accomplished overnight. Still, new hydrogen fueling stations will be added at a steady pace, and it will only be a matter of time until mass-produced fuel cell cars are available for sale.
The sky’s the limit, you might have been thinking, when Tesla’s stock jumped from USD 240 to about USD 340 in few days. On Oct. 23, 2018, a short while before the company said that it would preschedule the publication of third-quarter results, a well-known short seller named Andrew Left, of Citron Research, changed his outlook on Tesla (Nasdaq: TSLA). In what seemed like a 180-degree turn from his previous position, he stated
Many German fuel cell fans are still angry at Sascha Kühn, mostly not because his company’s kraftwerk fuel cell charger has yet to be delivered but because Kühn has practically disappeared from the public eye. Months have passed since there was some kind of statement about if and how the original idea of manufacturing small high-temperature fuel cells with the help of crowdfunding could still be brought to market.
December 31 last year was the date on which work at H-Tec Education officially ended. Still, the Fuel Cell Store (fuelcellstore.com) will continue the brand, as well as production, distribution and customer service. However, it was reported that, following the decision, 13 employees had been let go.
In mid-May, an AVX Corp. subsidiary, AVX Interconnect Europe, signed a EUR 12.5 million agreement to acquire Kumatec Sondermaschinenbau & Kunststoffverarbeitung, a German plastic components manufacturer based in Neuhaus-Schierschnitz, near Coburg. As a U.S. supplier of advanced electronic parts, interconnect solutions and sensor products, AVX bought Kumatec to benefit from the latter’s expertise in automation.
Plansee SE, which specializes in high-temperature materials and is based in Reutte, Austria, will discontinue its fuel cell business. Early this year, management had announced that the company intended to refocus attention on core operations, namely molybdenum and wolfram production, and abandon research on metal-supported fuel cells. It is said, however, that Global Tungsten & Powders, a fully owned Plansee subsidiary headquartered in Towanda, USA, will continue
The second half of the year is said to right the wrongs of the first, when fuel cell stocks did not have a chance to shine in the spotlight. Recent oil price hikes, typically a surefire recipe for larger investments in renewable energy, have had no discernable impact either. The interest shown by institutional investors in Tesla is much higher than that in the companies described below, most likely because their market caps are nowhere near USD 50 billion.
Even Ballard’s chief executive, Randall MacEwen, has been heard using the word “megatrend” to describe the future of the fuel cell market. The industry is benefitting from the technological readiness of multiple fuel cell products and bringing them to market will only be a matter of time. The driver of growth at Ballard is a broad portfolio of prototypes and partnerships.
FuelCell Energy (Nasdaq: FCEL) disclosed in June that South Korean Posco Energy would end its agreement with the company to provide certain market access rights in Asia. By contrast, other Korean suppliers have begun to invest in fuel cells on a large scale. Posco’s decision could have been made for strategic reasons, maybe to limit its product range. The fuel cell division seems to be the logical choice
From USD 6 to USD 12 and right back where it all started, you might say. Low revenues in quarters one and two prompted the price to dwindle. But Hydrogenics continues to offer a great outlook given all the bookings made throughout the year. Likewise, it is working on a variety of projects, particularly in China. Recently, it started up one of the world’s biggest power-to-gas systems in Ontario, Canada.