Ballard [Nasdaq: BLDP] and Weichai, Ballard partner and major shareholder, announced they are building an LCS factory in China. Past tense, it has probably already been built. Production should begin this year.
The reports are overwhelming as far as the areas of application and potential of the fuel cell are concerned, and politicians in Germany have also finally woken up. The stock exchanges have led many FC companies into a real course euphoria. But also, contradictions find their way into the media, according to which China allegedly plans to reduce or even completely discontinue the promotion of battery-powered, but also fuel cell-powered electro-mobility. On the other hand, from a very well-informed source one hears exactly the opposite, namely that precisely the promotion of the fuel cell and the associated infrastructure in China is being set up anew, that only the battery promotion is being limited.
Forget the quarterly figures for Ballard Power this year. They are only important to analysts. The CEO already said at the beginning of the year and recently underlined in a Bloomberg interview that this calendar year will be used to build capacity in China (production of the LCS stacks together with Weichai), among other things, to position themselves, to strengthen the central production and R&D location in Vancouver, to expand the workforce and to tackle pilot projects as a basis for orders.
Tesla’s share price rose sharply from US$ 230 to over US$ 360 during the reporting period, after the third quarter did not close with a loss (consensus was a loss of US$ 1.31 per share), but on the contrary with a profit of US$ 143 million (US$ 0.78 per share GAAP). Cash holdings were also maintained at US$ 5.3 billion.
The new Fuel Cell Industry Review 2019 withmarket data and analyses was published in January 2020. Since 2014, E4tech’s team has been contacting fuel cell companies worldwide to build it, aggregating their supply figures and creating an independent annual reference point on the current state of the fuel cell industry. Some excerpts are presented below.
170 US dollars, a good 30 US dollars lower than I had expected (200 US dollars), marked the lowest price of Tesla’s share in the recent past, before the strong rebound to over 260 US dollars – until the disappointing figures for the second quarter of 2019 started the reverse.
This remark (“major new customers”) stuck particularly with me, because Ballard – although already on board with many top partners and large companies in research technology – expects further major new customers, according to CEO Randy MacEwen in the telephone conference on the occasion of the figures for the fourth quarter of 2018.
Hydrogenics (Nasdaq: HYGS) has a full schedule with USD 151.2 million in backlog for several types of fuel cell applications, from truck conversion kits (Scania in Norway) to bus stacks in China to H2 refueling stations and power-to-gas systems. A loss of USD 5.7 million (minus USD 0.45 per share) in the second quarter can be considered a temporary slump, as the company said that some shipments had been moved to the third. Hydrogenics intends to stick to the forecast it had published for the entire year.
A new megatrend needs time to develop. The last 15 years established the foundation for the coming breakthrough of fuel cells and a steadily growing interest in their use. Here’s why: Historically, technological revolutions often needed 15 years before a breakthrough was achieved. But once you’re past that point, everything goes very quickly, since no market actor wants to remain on the sidelines. This is exactly what’s happening to the fuel cell across all markets and applications.
Taking a look at China these days, one may wonder if we haven’t already found the solution for a sustainable future in hydrogen and fuel cells. During his June business trip to the Land of the Dragon, H2-international’s stock market analyst Sven Jösting took part in the two-day German-Chinese SME Conference in Jieyang as representative of German environmental organization B.A.U.M. In front of 800 attendees, he tried to answer the question: “Will water become what coal is today?” Afterward, he visited the industrial park Metal Eco City in the east of southern Chinese province Guangdong.