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January 24th, 2023 | 16:04 CET

Hydrogen vision or greenwashing? Amazon, First Hydrogen, Plug Power

  • Hydrogen
  • greenhydrogen
  • cleantech
  • GreenTech
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Nowadays, various sustainability projects are under criticism, for example, when companies invest in forests to offset their CO2 emissions. Even the EU Commission has been accused of greenwashing following its decision to classify natural gas as sustainable. The critical discourse that has now been initiated could put many companies under scrutiny. We explain where sustainability is just PR and where the hydrogen vision can become a reality.

time to read: 3 minutes | Author: Nico Popp
ISIN: AMAZON.COM INC. DL-_01 | US0231351067 , First Hydrogen Corp. | CA32057N1042 , PLUG POWER INC. DL-_01 | US72919P2020

Table of contents:

    Amazon: Leading the way in sustainability

    When it comes to PR, Amazon is in an excellent position and an old hand. The Company has even been able to refute accusations of poor working conditions and low wages with some successful campaigns by its PR and marketing departments. Amazon is also doing well in the face of growing criticism regarding environmental protection. It is aggressively pursuing PV systems on its huge warehouses as well as energy savings through greater efficiency. The next step would be for Amazon to use carbon-neutral delivery vehicles. Some of this is already happening today. Among others, Amazon is working with Plug Power to make this happen: From 2025, Plug Power will supply green hydrogen to the logistics giant.

    Plug Power and Co.: Hydrogen is catching on

    Several technological developments indicate that green hydrogen could soon be needed. Just recently, the cleantech company ZeroAvia managed to have a Dornier 228 converted to hydrogen-electric propulsion take off for a ten-minute test flight. The aircraft has room for 19 people and is still far from being a cargo plane, but the test run gives hope. A lot is also happening on the ground around mobility and hydrogen. Companies like Plug Power are constantly developing fuel cells and electrolyzers, making more and more possible.

    First Hydrogen: Light Commercial Vehicles as a promising market

    One company that, like aerospace startup ZeroAvia, is seen as promising is First Hydrogen. While the unlisted aviation pioneers have so far been able to convince investors such as American Airlines or the German family office AENU, First Hydrogen is also open to private investors as a listed company. The Company is pursuing the goal of building hydrogen delivery vehicles. To do so, it relies on the best components and combines them in the best possible way. Series-produced models of well-known brands are used as bodies. The Company also relies on proven quality for fuel cells and maintains partnerships with Ballard Power and AVL Powertrain Ltd. Thanks to this strategy, First Hydrogen was able to put its first prototypes on the road and have them approved by the British regulatory authority for test runs on roads in the UK. Since this January, it has been possible for interested parties to try the vehicles under real-life conditions. First Hydrogen has repeatedly emphasized its ability to respond to customer requirements thanks to its flexible approach. This fact should also be a plus in the current phase.

    PV systems have long been a part of Amazon's business. Source: Amazon

    While the tests are underway on British roads, First Hydrogen is already working on successors primarily intended to be "environmentally friendly and cost-efficient." Experts see a market for hydrogen vehicles, particularly in light commercial vehicles, as they can be refueled faster than e-cars and carry larger loads. In parallel with developing light-duty vehicles that run on hydrogen, First Hydrogen is also working on the production and distribution of green hydrogen and has launched a pilot project in the Canadian city of Shawinigan in the district of Quebec. The stock has shown great relative strength over the past year in weak market conditions and is currently trading about 45% higher than a year ago. Nevertheless, the stock has meanwhile gone through a consolidation phase of several months and should be on the lists of speculative investors given the progressing operational development.

    Compared to classic hydrogen stocks such as Plug Power, First Hydrogen appears to be much more speculative, but the trend is intact, and the business field is promising. Nevertheless, investors can also keep Plug Power on their radar: On Wednesday (January 25), the Company will provide an outlook for 2023 during a conference call. Amazon's stock could also be more promising than many market participants currently estimate. After 2022 was marked by fears of recession, Amazon started to cut costs. Such cost-cutting measures are usually well received on the stock market. However, Amazon's potential is likely smaller than that of Plug Power and First Hydrogen. The latter company, in particular, has great potential for surprises. All three companies are not sustainability cutters, as they are currently being criticized in the media.

    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.

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    Der Autor

    Nico Popp

    At home in Southern Germany, the passionate stock exchange expert has been accompanying the capital markets for about twenty years. With a soft spot for smaller companies, he is constantly on the lookout for exciting investment stories.

    About the author

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