Close menu

August 23rd, 2023 | 09:10 CEST

Disappointments and surprises: Nikola, Plug Power, First Hydrogen

  • Hydrogen
  • greenhydrogen
  • renewableenergies
Photo credits: Nikola Corp.

Hydrogen and electromobility are megatrends. But not all shares from these sectors deliver what they promise. Nikola has recently disappointed. After the share price multiplied in June and July, it halved in August. And now Nikola has shocked shareholders again. Investors have also been unhappy with Plug Power in recent months. The hydrogen specialist just cannot get a handle on its margins. Is there hope for both again after the recent sell-offs? In contrast, First Hydrogen has surprised on the upside. A customer is enthusiastic about the test of the hydrogen fuel cell vehicle. Will a major order follow now, along with a rediscovery of the stock?

time to read: 3 minutes | Author: Fabian Lorenz
ISIN: NIKOLA CORP. | US6541101050 , PLUG POWER INC. DL-_01 | US72919P2020 , First Hydrogen Corp. | CA32057N1042

Table of contents:

    First Hydrogen: The hydrogen newcomer inspires

    The poor sentiment in the hydrogen sector is evident from the lack of response to First Hydrogen's recent success story. This went unnoticed, although the Canadian hydrogen fuel cell commercial vehicle impressed during test drives with a fleet operator in the UK. In regular times, this news would likely have led to a double-digit jump in the share price. Does this offer an exciting entry opportunity?

    Yes, say the experts from After the extremely successful test drives of the prototypes under real road conditions, entry into the mass market should occur soon. This will open up a sales volume of around EUR 1 billion for the Canadians. With a market capitalization of around EUR 90 million, First Hydrogen is not overvalued compared to other companies in the sector.

    Rivus has recently expressed enthusiasm for road tests with First Hydrogen's commercial vehicles. The range was deemed unbeatable - more than double that of electric-powered vehicles - and refueling is quick at less than 5 minutes. It is important to note that Rivus is far from being a small fleet provider. The Company operates around 120,000 vehicles in the UK. Gemma Horne, Warranty Controller at Rivus, accompanied the tests and said, "The main advantage of the First Hydrogen vehicle is that the refueling times are shorter than the charging times of battery-powered vehicles. And of course, unlike internal combustion engines, hydrogen vehicles produce zero emissions."

    First Hydrogen Automotive CEO Steve Gill was also pleased, saying, "*We are pleased that Rivus was able to prove that this technology can be a viable alternative for many fleets. The trial also demonstrated that the vehicle can achieve a range of more than 500 km on a single tank*, exceeding initial expectations for the vehicle's performance in real-world use. We have long believed that our vehicle will be beneficial to fleets, and this first trial proves just that."

    The commercial vehicle from Frist Hydrogen convinces in practical tests Source: First Hydrogen

    Plug Power: Shareholders are concerned

    While First Hydrogen is receiving virtually no advance praise in terms of valuation and market potential, Plug Power is a very different story. The hydrogen specialist from the US is valued at more than USD 5 billion even after the recent share price declines. After another set of weak quarterly figures with high losses and a threatened capital measure, investors sent the share below EUR 8 and thus close to the multi-year low at around EUR 7. Around a year ago, the share was trading at over EUR 20.

    The business is simply in a tough spot. Although Plug Power was able to increase sales by 72% to USD 260.2 million in the second quarter, thus exceeding analysts' estimates, the loss estimates were also exceeded. Plug Power posted a loss of USD 236.4 million in the second quarter. This, in turn, suggests that the US company will likely require a substantial amount of capital until reaching the break-even point.

    Nikola: Convertible bond shocks shareholders

    Nikola is already one step ahead. On Monday, a capital measure was announced, causing the electric truck developer's stock to drop by double digits again, closing at USD 1.51. Around USD 325 million is to be collected via a convertible bond. This will mean a significant dilution for existing shareholders. Even more urgently than at Plug Power, the capital is needed to break even "at some point" - when is still written in the stars. Because previously, there was a halt to sales of electric trucks due to a battery fire. The previously delivered vehicles were recalled to modify the battery pack. Perhaps partly because of these problems, Nikola has already announced it will focus on fuel-cell trucks.

    As with Plug Power, Nikola's market capitalization should not be underestimated despite the plunge in its share price. Nikola still weighs in at over USD 1.4 billion. Plug Power will not likely see a sustained upward trend until the financing is clear.

    Investors would be well advised to pay attention not only to the old pure plays such as Nel, Plug Power and Nikola. First Hydrogen is without doubt one of the exciting newcomers.

    Conflict of interest

    Pursuant to §85 of the German Securities Trading Act (WpHG), we point out that Apaton Finance GmbH as well as partners, authors or employees of Apaton Finance GmbH (hereinafter referred to as "Relevant Persons") may hold shares or other financial instruments of the aforementioned companies in the future or may bet on rising or falling prices and thus a conflict of interest may arise in the future. The Relevant Persons reserve the right to buy or sell shares or other financial instruments of the Company at any time (hereinafter each a "Transaction"). Transactions may, under certain circumstances, influence the respective price of the shares or other financial instruments of the Company.

    In addition, Apaton Finance GmbH is active in the context of the preparation and publication of the reporting in paid contractual relationships.

    For this reason, there is a concrete conflict of interest.

    The above information on existing conflicts of interest applies to all types and forms of publication used by Apaton Finance GmbH for publications on companies.

    Risk notice

    Apaton Finance GmbH offers editors, agencies and companies the opportunity to publish commentaries, interviews, summaries, news and the like on These contents are exclusively for the information of the readers and do not represent any call to action or recommendations, neither explicitly nor implicitly they are to be understood as an assurance of possible price developments. The contents do not replace individual expert investment advice and do not constitute an offer to sell the discussed share(s) or other financial instruments, nor an invitation to buy or sell such.

    The content is expressly not a financial analysis, but a journalistic or advertising text. Readers or users who make investment decisions or carry out transactions on the basis of the information provided here do so entirely at their own risk. No contractual relationship is established between Apaton Finance GmbH and its readers or the users of its offers, as our information only refers to the company and not to the investment decision of the reader or user.

    The acquisition of financial instruments involves high risks, which can lead to the total loss of the invested capital. The information published by Apaton Finance GmbH and its authors is based on careful research. Nevertheless, no liability is assumed for financial losses or a content-related guarantee for the topicality, correctness, appropriateness and completeness of the content provided here. Please also note our Terms of use.

    Der Autor

    Fabian Lorenz

    For more than twenty years, the Cologne native has been intensively involved with the stock market, both professionally and privately. He is particularly passionate about national and international small and micro caps.

    About the author

    Related comments:

    Commented by Armin Schulz on March 4th, 2024 | 07:15 CET

    Kraken Energy, RWE, Plug Power - Is Germany reconsidering its nuclear phase-out?

    • Mining
    • Energy
    • renewableenergies
    • nuclear
    • Uranium

    Calls for a U-turn on the nuclear energy issue are getting louder in Germany. Above all, the AfD, the CDU/CSU, and the FDP, as members of the traffic light government, are calling for a resumption of nuclear power generation. In Europe, Germany's energy policy has already caused considerable head-shaking. Nuclear power can shoulder the base load, does not produce CO2 emissions and is cheaper and less volatile than renewable energies. Many countries agree on one thing: we need to move away from fossil fuels. In the Czech Republic, plans are underway to build 4 new nuclear power plants, and in Poland, the Netherlands and Sweden, there is no longer interest in phasing out nuclear power. It will be interesting to see how Germany's struggle for energy develops.


    Commented by André Will-Laudien on February 29th, 2024 | 08:30 CET

    Uranium with exploding demand! Kraken Energy ideally positioned, hydrogen with Nel ASA and Plug Power in rebound?

    • Mining
    • Uranium
    • Hydrogen
    • climatechange

    Some politicians are feverishly dreaming of making energy generation climate-neutral! Those who take a closer look at the matter realize that the speed of adaptation to more sustainable electricity production must be supported by sizeable public investment budgets. In Germany and the EU, so-called eco-taxes are levied on private transport, which are used to finance alternative energy generation. That is the green theory, as expensive environmental projects should benefit the general public. Because the EU recently gave nuclear energy the "green light" in its taxonomy, this form of energy is now coming back into focus. The protagonists of this view are the nuclear power supporters France, Spain, Poland and the Czech Republic, with Germany notably staying out of this topic. Worldwide, over 50 reactors are expected to come online in the next few years, and what is needed for that is uranium. Which shares should be in focus now?


    Commented by Armin Schulz on February 28th, 2024 | 07:15 CET

    Varta Thriller! Altech Advanced Materials, BYD work on the electrification of the future

    • Technology
    • Innovations
    • renewableenergies

    While production at Varta is at a standstill following a cyber attack, the wave of electrification is rolling inexorably through our society, changing how we generate, store and utilize energy. Innovations are needed here, especially in energy storage from renewable sources and the further development of batteries for use in electric vehicles. Advances in electric vehicles and the increasing use of electrical energy are paving the way towards the future. Intensive research is currently being carried out on technologies that will increase both the effectiveness and capacity of battery systems. Altech Advanced Materials and BYD stand out here.