July 19th, 2022 | 13:57 CEST
Hydrogen as a billion-dollar market: Amazon, First Hydrogen, BYD
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"[...] We are committed to stay as the number one Canadian and global leader in the Hydrogen-On-Demand diesel technology [...]" Jim Payne, CEO, dynaCERT Inc.
Amazon: Investing in sustainability
The hydrogen startup Sunfire from Dresden will have been amazed when representatives of Amazon first got in touch. In the meantime, the retail giant has invested in specialists for electrolysis technologies via its USD 2 billion venture capital fund. The aim is to industrialize the technology, i.e. to manufacture it on a large scale, in order to make marketable prices possible. Amazon is constantly experimenting with future technology, such as drones. The huge warehouses are suitable for photovoltaic systems. Electrolysers could convert the surplus solar energy into green hydrogen, which could be used as fuel in hydrogen trucks or delivery vans.
As a retail giant, sustainability is a big issue for Amazon. First, the Company has to convince critical customers; second, financing terms have long been based on ESG criteria. Those who are climate neutral pay less interest. Amazon's share price has lost around 26% over the past year. However, the value is currently stabilizing. The share remains a perennial favourite. The commitment to sustainability will pay off for Amazon.
First Hydrogen: Expanding further business areas
One company that could be of interest to Amazon is First Hydrogen. The hydrogen hopeful focuses on equipping delivery trucks with fuel cells to provide solutions for delivery services and logistics providers. First Hydrogen's partners include Ballard Power and AVL Powertrain. In addition to plans for a hydrogen van that can be customized for specific customers in a subsequent step, First Hydrogen is also working on a hydrogen fueling system and launching green hydrogen production.
For funding, First Hydrogen has applied for funds from the UK's Net Zero Hydrogen Fund. If approved, this would inject capital into the coffers and would also be a signal of confidence to the market. First Hydrogen is increasingly becoming a multifaceted hydrogen company. After the Company successfully completed financing, the share price fell. In the meantime, however, the share price has stabilized again. Operationally, the Company continues to progress: After an expert for hydrogen vehicles was poached from BMW in June, an expert for the production of green hydrogen from the multinational utility ENGIE followed most recently.
BYD: Many pillars pay off
BYD shows that it can pay off to be broadly positioned. The Company is considered a manufacturer of e-cars but started years ago as a battery manufacturer. At that time, BYD batteries were still being used in electric scooters and other vehicles that many Europeans only knew from vacations in Asia. But the once ridiculed Chinese company is now considered a technological leader. According to industry insiders, BYD is said to have a five-year technological lead over Daimler. Even if such advantages are difficult to quantify, BYD is now very broadly positioned and supplies batteries for photovoltaic systems. Now, the Company plans to significantly expand its chip production: Instead of simple industrial chips, the Chinese also want to produce chips for topics such as autonomous driving. It pays to be so broadly positioned: the share price rose by a whopping 35% in the past three months of the crisis.
BYD's success should also be a guide for up-and-coming technology companies like First Hydrogen: If you have a lot of irons in the fire, you can offer yourself as a partner and possibly take big steps in the right direction more quickly. For investors, stocks around hydrogen and sustainability are exciting - after all, the trend is here to stay and, at the same time, a proven tool in times of gas crisis.
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