May 25th, 2022 | 12:49 CEST
First Hydrogen, Plug Power, SFC Energy - Green hydrogen is booming!
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"[...] We can convert buses and trucks to be completely climate neutral. In doing so, we take a modular and incremental approach. That means we can work with all current vehicle types and respond to new technology and innovation [...]" Dirk Graszt, CEO, Clean Logistics SE
First Hydrogen starts tests with light commercial vehicles
The Canadians specialize in building light commercial vehicles (LCVs) with fuel cell technology. Using a "best of" approach, the Company has begun prototype construction of a zero-emission delivery truck with experienced partners Ballard Power and AVL Powertrain.
This uses a converted, electrically powered MAN eTGE flatbed truck as the base vehicle. The first operational tests of the vehicles, equipped with fuel cells from Ballard Power and converted by AVL Powertrain in the UK, are scheduled to take place as early as June. Road approval is planned for September. Then the important tests with fleet operators can also start.
The advantage of commercial vehicles with fuel cell technology lies in their long range. For example, the range of the MAN eTGE converted to fuel cell technology is over 500km (according to the WLTP test procedure) in contrast to the 115km of the original battery-powered version - at the same top speed and unchanged charging volume. In addition, a refueling process takes a maximum of five minutes.
Looking further ahead, the Company has announced the expansion of its strategic consulting partnership with FEV, an automotive engineering development service provider based in Aachen, Germany, to drive further development of its vehicle fleet.
In addition, based on the UK government's plans to double hydrogen production to 10 GW by 2030, First Hydrogen in the UK has announced plans to build up to four production sites with connected refueling stations, contributing an initial production capacity of 80 to 160 MW.
In the medium term, First Hydrogen is thus poised for significant growth. A few weeks ago, the Canadians were also able to conclude a private placement of CAD 6 million successfully.
Plug Power - On the road to recovery
Investors in fuel cell pioneer Plug Power currently need strong nerves. Although the figures for the first quarter showed a doubling of sales from USD 72 million to around USD 141 million, the loss per share of around USD 0.27 was significantly higher than forecast by analysts (consensus estimate: USD -0.16 per share). On the other hand, the long-term forecast of achieving around USD 3 billion in sales per year by 2025 with a gross margin of around 30% and an operating margin of 17% was confirmed. Nevertheless, the share price dropped significantly, and since the beginning of the year, the share price has almost halved.
In the meantime, however, the stock seems to be slowly recovering. One reason for this is the signals from politicians that green hydrogen is set to become an essential part of the future energy mix. For example, the German government has just announced the launch of a EUR 2 billion package for hydrogen research. The European Commission's REPowerEU plan also aims to expand the EU's hydrogen production capacity to 10 million tons by 2030.
Plug Power also landed a major contract from H2 Energy Europe. It involves the construction of an electrolyzer plant in Denmark with a capacity of one gigawatt and is the largest order in the Company's history. The hydrogen produced will be used, among other things, to supply a network of 250 hydrogen filling stations in cooperation with the energy company Phillips66 (former downstream business of ConocoPhillips), which the Company is planning in Denmark, Germany and Austria.
SFC Energy - Enthusiasm among customers and investors
Based in Brunnthal, Upper Bavaria, SFC Energy is a manufacturer of self-sufficient long-term power supplies based on fuel cells. These power supplies usually replace diesel generators and are used, for example, at weather measuring stations in offshore wind farms or in other hard-to-reach places. In addition, the Company also provides the power electronics, measurement technology, etc. required for this purpose.
The Company's order books are full to bursting with an order backlog of around EUR 60 million. Recently, an order for 600 EFOY fuel cells was received from LiveView Technologies (LVT), a US manufacturer of surveillance systems, who will use the cells to equip mobile surveillance equipment.
On the other hand, like many other manufacturers, SFC had to contend with supply chain disruptions and rising prices for intermediate goods and transportation and logistics expenses, which led to a drop in the EBITDA margin in the first quarter. The Company has countered this through two price increases, which will impact the following quarters. For the analysts of First Berlin, the share remains a "buy". The experts set a target price of EUR 42, corresponding to a price potential of around 70%.
Especially since the war in Ukraine, it is more than evident how important it is to become independent in our energy supply. Hydrogen is an excellent energy carrier and will certainly be part of our future energy mix. The Company First Hydrogen undoubtedly has the greatest potential of the shares mentioned as speed and the availability of energy at any time are trumps, especially in supply and delivery transport.
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