Close menu

December 28th, 2022 | 08:12 CET

Goodbye Tesla shares - Now bet on the hydrogen rally 2023: Plug Power, First Hydrogen, Nel, Ballard Power

  • Hydrogen
  • GreenTech
  • greenhydrogen
Photo credits:

Tesla is experiencing a continued decline in demand in China. According to internal plans, the assembly lines at the production site in Shanghai will be at a standstill for almost two weeks in January. The US electric carmaker plans to produce at its main factory at the beginning of 2023 only, from January 3 to 19. Around the Chinese New Year, Tesla will stop the assembly lines. Tesla did not give an official reason for the surprising break. The Company, founded by Elon Musk, has yet to respond to press requests to comment on the production cuts after Christmas. The share has now lost 40% in 4 weeks and continues to go down unchecked. Last Saturday, Tesla had already largely stopped production in Shanghai for the rest of the year. The prospects for electric car makers are clearly darkening, and we look to alternatives such as hydrogen.

time to read: 4 minutes | Author: André Will-Laudien
ISIN: PLUG POWER INC. DL-_01 | US72919P2020 , First Hydrogen Corp. | CA32057N1042 , NEL ASA NK-_20 | NO0010081235 , BALLARD PWR SYS | CA0585861085

Table of contents:

    Nel ASA - Into 2023 with filled order books

    Electric mobility is sputtering and hydrogen technology is now gaining momentum for dynamizing global climate protection efforts. Even the Emirates have decided to invest in modern energy generation methods alongside their abundant fossil reserves. The Desertec project of the turn of the millennium has given rise to the world's largest solar power plant on the Arabian Peninsula. The energy is to be used to produce exportable green hydrogen. This is a good opportunity for the protagonists in the US and Europe to step on the gas when it comes to H2. According to Goldman Sachs, the hydrogen sector could be a USD 12 trillion issue by 2030.

    Nel, meanwhile, has surprised in the USA with a megadeal. The US subsidiary NEL Hydrogen US has agreed on a strategic partnership with the largest US automaker General Motors. The aim is to drive the innovative proton electrolyzer platform forward on an industrial scale as quickly as possible. Just before Christmas, Nel's US offshoot also announced a Capacity Reservation Agreement (CRA) for the supply of 16 hydrogen refueling stations with an undisclosed US energy company. Delivery of the refueling equipment is scheduled to begin in the fourth quarter of 2023 and run throughout 2024. The CRA is valued at approximately USD 7 million and was fully paid at signing, with the final order estimated by Nel ASA at roughly USD 17 million.

    The NEL share has already gained 50% since October due to bulging order books. Currently, the share price is consolidating again somewhat. In the end, Nel ASA has nevertheless fallen 18% in 2022. The highs from 2020 are admittedly still more than 250% away. Put Nel ASA back on the momentum watchlist for 2023 because it could go up again quickly with good news.

    First Hydrogen - Targeting the mass logistics market

    The key to achieving climate targets lies, among other things, in the switch to green hydrogen as an energy carrier. Here, newcomer First Hydrogen has positioned itself with its "Hydrogen-as-a-Service" model and intends to cover the entire value chain in the future with the construction of zero-emission vehicles and the production and distribution of green hydrogen. The Company recognized early on that there are more viable options than a battery drive in logistics. Long charging cycles and short range are determinants that have so far made a network of delivery vehicles unprofitable.

    In addition to the series production of novel utility vans, CEO Balraj Mann's comprehensive goal is to provide a holistic product offering of zero-emission light commercial vehicles and green hydrogen. In addition to developing a hydrogen refueling system, this also includes in-house production and the sale of hydrogen produced in-house. The projects have started very successfully in the UK and are now to be rolled out across the EU and North America.

    A pilot project has now been agreed upon with the Canadian city of Shawinigan in the Quebec region to develop the first ecosystem. First Hydrogen has already officially begun securing and developing appropriate sites for local production of green hydrogen and assembly of zero-emission commercial vehicles. Electrolysis technology is expected to provide up to 50 megawatts of green hydrogen for the Montreal-Quebec City metropolitan area, which the relevant logistics partners can use for refueling the latest H2 fleets.

    First Hydrogen is starting with a tangible concept in the hydrogen propulsion market. Especially the logistics industry is facing enormous challenges in adapting its services to today's sustainability principles due to climate change. Because of their extraordinary innovative power, the Canadians, with a market capitalization of only CAD 285 million, are a top pick for 2023 because the "real hydrogen wave" is arguably just beginning now.

    Plug Power and Ballard Power - Sell-off at the end of the year

    Plug Power and Ballard Power delivered dismal results to shareholders in 2022, with share price losses of nearly 60%. Both are still deep in the red in their business models, and the euphoria of investors from 2020 and 2021 has now been caught up in sheer reality. The conviction has long prevailed that profitable implementation of H2 concepts will take several more years, as the corresponding budgets of governments are only now coming into play. The war in Ukraine has once again illustrated, through the price spikes for fossil fuels, how dependent the Western industrialized nations still are on cheap energy availability.

    Emission-free mobility solutions are essential to the European Union's climate plans, as this is the only way to ban the sale of petrol and diesel vehicles by 2035. Among other things, the EU has decided to reduce CO2 emissions from new cars by 55% by 2030 and from new vans by 50% compared to 2021.

    Fundamentally, Plug and Ballard are still trading on a 2024 estimated price-to-sales ratio of 6. Plug Power expects positive EBIT in 2025, but free cash flow remains negative through 2026. Ballard Power's analyst estimates currently show no earnings even for 2026, although sales could quadruple by then. Research experts still overwhelmingly vote "Buy" on Plug Power, while Ballard Power has fewer supporters and averages "Neutral." The downtrends in both stocks could nevertheless technically turn into a recovery at the start of the year due to fiscal portfolio adjustments in 2022, but both stocks remain highly speculative.

    The hydrogen sector is at the starting point of a longer-term boom phase. If the government funds flow as announced, many projects can be managed. So far, this investment drive has been lacking on the private side. This will continue to bring fantasy into the sector in the coming years, but the extraordinarily high valuations should not be lost sight of.

    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

    André Will-Laudien

    Born in Munich, he first studied economics and graduated in business administration at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in 1995. As he was involved with the stock market at a very early stage, he now has more than 30 years of experience in the capital markets.

    About the author

    Related comments:

    Commented by André Will-Laudien on November 29th, 2023 | 09:50 CET

    DAX on record course, hydrogen sell-off! Plug Power, First Hydrogen, Nel ASA and Daimler Truck on the test bench

    • Hydrogen
    • greenhydrogen
    • renewableenergies

    The DAX is soaring because most investors expect interest rates to fall. Based on the assumption of slower growth, investors are again focusing on cyclically sensitive stocks at the turn of the year. According to the expectation curves for ECB and FED interest rates, the first downward adjustments are already expected in Q2. The key factors here are the slight fall in inflation and the central banks' desire to cushion the potential downturn. Despite all the euphoria, the desire to buy is currently bypassing the hydrogen sector. Representatives of the sector are the stock market losers of 2023. Is there still a possibility of a quick rebound in 2024? We do the math.


    Commented by André Will-Laudien on November 28th, 2023 | 07:00 CET

    GreenTech 2024 - The turnaround analysis: Siemens Energy, Almonty Industries, JinkoSolar and Nordex. Is the turnaround near?

    • Mining
    • Tungsten
    • renewableenergies
    • GreenTech

    The Western hemisphere is experiencing unprecedented inflation due to the impact of Corona and subsequent geopolitical conflicts. This time, it is not a boom causing prices to explode but the scarcity of raw materials, manpower and capital. The rise in interest rates is making infrastructure projects worldwide more expensive and jeopardizing the implementation of climate projects. In such an environment, GreenTech companies try to plan carefully, but they are still dependent on the support of public budgets. After sharp price corrections this year, investors can now enter the market a good 50% below the highs, but has the bottom already been reached?


    Commented by Armin Schulz on November 28th, 2023 | 06:45 CET

    ThyssenKrupp Nucera, Altech Advanced Materials, JinkoSolar - Green returns in focus

    • GreenTech
    • Batteries
    • Technology
    • renewableenergies

    GreenTech stocks have become an important topic in today's world. In the face of rising global environmental concerns and a growing awareness of sustainability, more and more investors are looking for investment opportunities that offer both financial returns and a positive impact on the environment. GreenTech stocks represent companies that are developing innovative technologies and solutions to address environmental issues and shape a sustainable future. Many countries have adopted policies to support the transition to a low-carbon economy. We have picked out three exciting companies.