The good news is that fuel cells for materials handling equipment are no longer confined to a niche market. Entire warehouses in North America are currently being served by hydrogen-powered forklift trucks. This type of fuel cell application is also becoming increasingly popular in Asia and Europe, but their logistics industries will have some catching up to do.
H2-international has recently asked manufacturers of fuel cell stacks not only about their systems’ technical specifications, but also about their opinion of current market developments. As only seven companies participated in the survey, the results may not be very indicative of where the entire market is heading. However, you can discern a few trends.
A second-quarter loss of USD 1.2 million or USD 0.01 per share is one thing, but a more than 50 percent year-on-year jump in revenue to USD 26.1 million is quite another. Canadian-based Ballard (Nasdaq: BLDP) managed to push the gross margin to 38 percent, so that earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization were at positive USD 1.1 million. That’s plus USD 0.4 million through the first half year. Revenue grew by 45 percent to USD 49.2 million during the same period.
The minus USD 0.11 per share was a much higher loss than the USD 0.06 that had been anticipated. The adjusted EPS is said to be at USD 0.08 per share. The company’s revenue increased to USD 32.6 million in the final quarter of 2016 – while USD 34.8 million had been expected. The net loss attributable to common shareholders (incl. large extraordinary items) added up to USD 57.6 million at USD 85.9 million in revenue. This fiscal year, GAAP revenue is expected to grow to USD 130 million. Where does the company go from here? The focus of Plug Power (NASDAQ: PLUG) is the materials handling market, and it’s doing well on it regarding customers and bookings.
November 2015 saw the publication of the Fuel Cell Industry Review 2015, including market data and analyses for 2015. Since 2014, a team led by E4tech had contacted fuel cell companies around the globe, aggregated their supply figures and can now show the latest trends in the industry, much as Fuel Cell Today had done before its survey came to a halt. The following will present some excerpts from the review.
The presentation of the results of the H2IntraDrive project was not a sales event or press conference – it was both. On Nov. 23, 2015, the project partners as well as representatives of prospective new partners and some reporters gathered in the BMW factory in Leipzig to take a look at the results of two years of development. The important thing to take away from the event was:
Whichever enterprise figure is in the focus of the stock market, it will become the basis for share price development: With around US$ 31.5 million in the third quarter, Plug did deliver the expected turnover revenue, but had to continue posting a loss that the stock market took as a negative sign (expressed in US cents per share).
The HyPulsion joint venture has now been owned in full by Plug Power since August 2015. As announced by the American (USA) company on July 27th 2015, it has acquired all of the shares in its former partner Axane, a subsidiary of the gases company Air Liquide. The New York-based manufacturer of fuel cells paid US-$ 11.5 m. for 80 % of the shares. In 2012, Plug Power and Axane joined forces to form HyPulsion, primarily with the goal of kick-starting the market for fuel cell forklift trucks. Andy Marsh, managing director of Plug Power, made the following comments: “We are now moving ahead with optimism to extend our presence in the European materials handling market. […] I am pleased that our collaboration with Air Liquide for the further development of the hydrogen sector in Europe is continuing.”
Mercedes-Benz doesn’t only sell vehicles powered by hydrogen fuel cells; it also uses them at its production facilities. Since the start of June 2015, the firm’s transporter plant in Düsseldorf has been operating two forklift trucks which are powered by hydrogen fuel cell. The forklift trucks were manufactured by Linde Material Handling and are supplied on location at a mobile H2 filling station provided by Air Products. One of the goals of the project, which will
At first glance, the figures for the first quarter of 2015 turned out to be disappointing: a loss of US$11.1m. with a turnover of US$9.4m. (+ 69% compared with the same quarter in the previous year). However, Plug Power (PLUG, US$2.65) has also succeeded in generating an orders backlog of US$160m. (US$46m. in the 1st quarter, goal for this year: US$200m.). 265 GenDrive systems have been accounted for, while the accounting for a further 419 has been delayed to the second quarter. One H2 filling station has been accounted for while seven are to begin their duties in the second quarter (2014: 10 H2 filling station installation, there are to be more than 15 in 2015). As stated by the executive team during the telephone conference, the turnover is set to