November 10th, 2021 | 11:07 CET
Nordex, Clean Logistics, Nikola - Hardly manageable changeover
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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
Clean Logistics - Don't talk, act!
The man knows what he is talking about. Dirk Graszt, CEO of Clean Logistics, already sees disaster rolling toward us. In Germany, about 250,000 of the approximately 340,000 registered trucks would have to be climate-neutral by 2030 if the logistics industry wants to achieve the statutory CO2 reduction targets. As many as 2.3 million semitrailer trucks are registered throughout Europe.
Around 70% of these vehicles are DAF XF 106 and Mercedes Actros MP4 models and MAN. Clean Logistics is pouncing on this group to decarbonize the transport sector and make it fit for the future. Conventional 40-ton diesel trucks and buses used in local public transport (LPT) are to be converted to an emission-neutral hydrogen drive. The conversion involves removing the entire powertrain and replacing it with an emission-free hydrogen-based drive system. The modular conversion technology tested by the Company will be used.
Although the total costs for a conversion process currently amount to the high sum of EUR 500,000, the acquisition of climate-neutral trucks and buses is subsidized by the German Federal Ministry of Transport with 80% cost coverage up to a total of EUR 2.9 billion. The Hamburg-based company has already been able to provide proof of concept. The HyBatt bus, Europe's first converted bus in local public transport with fuel cell hydrogen propulsion, was handed over to the Uckermärkische Verkehrsgesellschaft.
To further boost conversion capacity, a binding letter of intent was signed with the town of Winsen an der Luhe to purchase a commercial property on which the Company plans to build a new production hall with 10,000 sqm of floor space. The stock market value of Clean Logistics is currently around EUR 110.00 million; still a manageable valuation compared to other players in the hydrogen sector.
Nordex - The old problem
Investors were eagerly awaiting the third-quarter figures for wind turbine manufacturer Nordex. While in the past weeks, order after order from all over the world entered the bulging books - the only question was how high the margin on the new orders would be. The problem with the low-margin old orders was well known. But instead of rejoicing, disillusionment set in. The reason was uncertainties regarding the logistics and raw materials markets, which prompted the Hamburg-based Company to adjust its annual targets downwards. According to company reports, annual sales are expected to rise, but the profit margin is likely to be significantly below the targets set.
Before the publication of the figures, an operating margin of between 4.0% and 5.5% was still the basis. Currently, Nordex is expecting a margin of 1%. In return, the range for revenues was adjusted to between 5.0% and 5.2%. If this is transferred to the operating result, a maximum of EUR 52 million should remain. In the Corona year 2020, the figure was EUR 94 million. However, in the medium term, Group CEO José Luis Blanco continues to dream of an operating margin of 8%.
The wind energy sector is currently in crisis. Even the competitor from Denmark, Vestas Wind, recently revised its margin significantly downwards. After marking a new low for the year, the share price recovered somewhat, but given the further uncertainties, investors should think twice before investing in Nordex right now.
Nikola - The turnaround is underway
Nikola investors have known since last autumn that a share price can fall lower than expected. After highs of over USD 90, a huge crash followed down to a low of USD 9.0. Of course, the reasons like fraud allegations against ex-CEO and founder Milton were striking. Now, however, the new management is working step by step on the comeback. In addition to the settlement with SEC, in which Nikola is reportedly paying USD 125 million, the third-quarter figures were announced. However, as expected, they still showed no revenue and a loss of USD -271.83 million. However, Nikola is making good progress with the validation of the Nikola Tre BEV.
The cooperation agreement with the Canadian energy infrastructure company TC Energy is also strategically significant. It involves the two partners developing, building and operating a critical hydrogen infrastructure for hydrogen-powered zero-emission heavy-duty vehicles. For Nikola, this represents an important step in facilitating access to affordable, low-carbon hydrogen production for the transportation and industrial sectors. On the stock market, the Nikola share price continues its upward trend. Breaking through the resistance at USD 15.00 would generate another buy signal in this regard.
Achieving climate neutrality requires a colossal effort. Particularly in the case of transport, it seems almost impossible to achieve the climate targets. Clean Logistics is working to decarbonize the sector. Nikola is also making good progress with its hybrid trucks, while Nordex is facing headwinds.
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