December 5th, 2022 | 11:18 CET
BYD, First Hydrogen, Daimler Truck - Green solutions as a booster for the portfolio
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"[...] Why should a modular electrolyzer cost more than a motorcycle? [...]" Sebastian-Justus Schmidt, CEO and Founder, Enapter AG
BYD - November sales reach another record high
The Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer BYD is fully committed to the electric drive because the Company has a know-how advantage there, as the Group was originally a pure battery manufacturer. In the meantime, the Group covers a large part of the value chain in order to maintain its growth path in the production of electric vehicles. With success, as they were able to overtake Tesla when the latter was struggling with supply chain problems. The main focus is on passenger car sales, but the Company also offers commercial vehicles. Sales of buses, in particular, are doing well. Most recently, Swedish bus company Nobina ordered 64 electric buses.
On Friday, December 2, the Company presented its sales figures for November. A total of 230,427 electric vehicles (NEVs) were sold, up 152.61% YOY and 5.8% month-on-month. Of these sales, 229,942 were passenger cars, and 485 were commercial vehicles. Outside China, 12,318 NEVs were sold, representing a YOY increase of 29.27%. Battery production capacity was increased to 11,003 gigawatt hours - an increase of just over 125% YOY and 8% more than in October.
The Group plans to extend its expansion to Mexico from 2023. Around 30,000 vehicles are to be sold by 2024. From January, the automaker will raise prices in response to higher raw material costs. The stock continues to suffer from the sales of Warren Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway. On November 17, it was announced that the star investor had sold a further 2.23 million shares, taking his stake in the Company to below 16%. Currently, one pays EUR 23.82 for a share certificate. The share has recently formed a double bottom at EUR 20.84, which is positive. However, closing prices above EUR 26.08 are needed to break the downward trend.
First Hydrogen - Test drives have started
The Canadian company First Hydrogen is focusing on a hydrogen drive. The Company has brought together Ballard Power, a leading manufacturer of fuel cells, and AVL Powertrain UK, one of the best product designers, with a MAN body to develop a hydrogen-powered van. Thanks to their combined expertise and experience, the first test vehicles were built very quickly. The commercial vehicles received road approval in mid-October. Starting in January 2023, the two demonstration vehicles will be tested by fleet operators in the UK for 24 months. On November 7, the Company announced test drives.
By November 21, the first test runs had already been successfully completed at the Horiba Mira Proving Ground. The vehicles were refueled within a few minutes with 700 bar, which provides enough energy to drive 400 to 600 km. By comparison, electric transporters can only manage 115 km at the same top speed and take over 5 hours to recharge. The Company also announced that next-generation vehicles will be unveiled soon. The automotive team has been working on the new generation for about 18 months. As the Company wants to offer the whole value chain to its customers, they are developing refueling stations and also want to enter the production of green hydrogen.
As of November 28, it is known that First Hydrogen plans to build its first green hydrogen ecosystem in Shawinigan, Canada. In addition to producing up to 50 megawatts of green hydrogen, the site will also be home to the production of commercial hydrogen vehicles. The decisive factor in the choice of location was also the support of the province of Quebec, which has launched the "2030 Quebec Green Hydrogen and BioEnergy Strategy" plan. Interested investors can view the Company presentation on December 7 at the 5th IIF - International Investment Forum and ask questions to First Hydrogen's Energy Division CEO. Since the beginning of November, the stock has gained 50% at its peak. It is currently trading at CAD 4.81.
Daimler Truck - Strong 3rd quarter
Daimler Truck has postponed the decision of whether to go for an electric or hydrogen drive. It is simply developing both. The Company's main products are trucks, followed by buses. In addition, Daimler Truck offers financial services ranging from leasing to insurance. The Company is currently much further along with the electrification of its vehicles than it is with hydrogen drive. Ultimately, however, in freight transport, it always depends on the respective area of application, and so, depending on the application, one can choose between electric and hydrogen.
On November 11, the Company released its first figures for the third quarter, in which profitability increased significantly despite ongoing supply chain bottlenecks and headwinds from raw material and energy prices. Group sales volumes increased by 27% YOY to 134,972 units, and Group sales rose significantly by 47% to EUR 13.5 billion. The order backlog also increased compared with the prior-year level. Group EBIT (adjusted) increased by 159% to EUR 1,273 million, and EBIT in the industrial business (adjusted) by 158%. Adjusted return on sales improved from 4.2% in 2021 to 8.0%.
The strong business performance and increased profitability demonstrate the Company's resilience. It is needed, too, because according to the Association of European Automobile Manufacturers, sales of commercial vehicles in Europe fell for the 16th consecutive month in October. Germany had the highest decline at 12.4%. Daimler Truck's share price has been on the upswing since the beginning of October, rising from EUR 22.47 to EUR 31.65. Since then, the stock has consolidated slightly and is currently trading at EUR 30.95.
In summary, the future of the freight transport industry will become greener, regardless of which drive system is chosen. There will likely be corresponding application areas for both electric and hydrogen drives. BYD is fully committed to electric propulsion but sells mostly passenger cars. There is a need to catch up in commercial vehicles here. First Hydrogen has eliminated the weak points of electric vehicles. The price of green hydrogen has to drop to make the breakthrough. Daimler Truck operates on two tracks and can serve both camps.
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