Ballard Power’s vision: 30 percent FCEVs by 2030


January 18, 2018

Image titel:


Ballard Power’s vision: 30 percent FCEVs by 2030


Mireo –New concept in rail transportation, © Siemens

As the then market leader, Ballard Power (Nasdaq: BLDP) determined soon after taking up its fuel cell activities that there was no way it could compete in the transportation sector. The upfront investment that such a move required was just too great. A decision was made to outsource these activities to AFCC, a Daimler-Ford joint venture and Ballard spin-off, which signed a three-way agreement with Nissan in 2013 to develop the next generation of fuel cells. Nevertheless, it continues to regard both Nissan and Ballard as partners to the endeavor.

To show how times have changed, let me quote Ballard’s CEO MacEwen, who recently described the fuel cell as a disruptive technology that could “uniquely position” his company. He recommended a “30 by 30” policy of having 30 percent of all commercial vehicles equipped with fuel cells by 2030. The company has only 12 years left to meet that target. Batteries and fuel cells would make a good match in a hybrid, with the latter greatly alleviating the limitations of the former and offering more route flexibility. MacEwen, however, is already thinking ahead. He explained during the third-quarter conference call in late September that he wanted to help make fuel cells the technology of choice in heavy-duty truck applications (see also August 2017 issue of H2-international).


There is mounting pressure from all sides. Countries such as China and India have made fuel cells a requirement and 40 leading cities in the world have announced to ban fossil fuel vehicles from their streets by 2030, with 12 planning to implement their policies as early as 2025. Those targets alone offer potential equivalent to around 60,000 busses – all the more reason for taking a closer look at fuel cell businesses and their stock market development.

In 2018, Ballard is said to be involved in the manufacture of around 20,000 bus stacks in China, upward from the 6,000 per year previously. It puts the Canadian business in the most favorable position to advance bus electrification through fuel cells. Considering the market’s prospects for growth, it cannot be overstated what kind of competitive advantage this represents.


On to the number crunching: The company reported a notable 54 percent increase in total revenues at a gross margin of 32 percent. Third-quarter earnings added up to USD 31.9 million. The net loss is getting ever smaller and amounted to USD 1 million during the same three months (that’s minus USD 0.01 per share). Again: The trend is your friend. Quarter after quarter shows constant improvement. The continued high investment in R&D is the reason why the company hasn’t broken even yet. Total liquidity fell to USD 60.1 million, but that’s still a very healthy number. Order backlog reached a record-breaking USD 236.8 million, according to Ballard.

Protonex, the portfolio’s crown jewel

Meanwhile, the U.S. Army has approved the use of fuel cell systems for drones and other military equipment. Starting in 2018, this public-sector customer is said to be placing orders worth USD 150 million to USD 250 million over 5 years, making Protonex, a Ballard subsidiary, the crown jewel in the parent company’s portfolio. Its outlook is extremely positive, and one may assume that the profit margin from the deal won’t be a small one either. Those USD 150 million to USD 250 million over 5 years will also mean that Ballard could rake in USD 30 million to USD 50 million annually in this segment alone. That’s no small change considering total revenues estimated at USD 100 million, and it serves to underscore the minimum 30 percent growth Ballard expects to see this year – without even looking at the company’s other segments, such as bus stack manufacture in China.


Rolling stock and ships

CRRC, the world’s largest rolling stock manufacturer, has been collaborating with Ballard on developing a hydrogen-powered tram to transport 336 passengers at up to 70 km/h or 44 mph in a 40-kilometer or 25-mile range. Its H2 capacity is said to be 12 kilograms. Even if this and other projects have not yet left the pilot stage, they could lead to a great many bookings. And which business is in a better position than Ballard to benefit from this growing market?

“Looking forward, a key business driver will continue to be the compelling value proposition offered by zero-emission fuel cell electric vehicles, or FCEVs, in numerous heavy-duty motive use cases. This is particularly true where vehicles must deal with long range or long hours of operation. In these situations, FCEVs can deliver key financial and operational benefits while also addressing the limitations of a battery-only design, through extended range, rapid refueling and full route flexibility.”

MacEwen, CEO of Ballard

Good prospects

Risk warning

Share trading can result in a total loss of your investment. Consider spreading the risk as a sensible precaution. The fuel cell companies mentioned in this article are small and mid-cap ones, i.e., they may experience high stock volatility. This article is not to be taken as a recommendation of what shares to buy or sell – it comes without any explicit or implicit guarantee or warranty. All information is based on publicly available sources and the content of this article reflects the author’s opinion only. This article focuses on mid-term and long-term prospects and not short-term profit. The author may own shares in any of the companies mentioned in it.

Written by Sven Jösting in December 2017

Kategorien: North America

Here are interesting and current articles on the topic of hydrogen – stocks and the stock market!

Economic prospects for companies in the hydrogen sector | Future, stocks & hydrogen companies on the stock exchange and more…

Which hydrogen companies will prevail in the competitive market in the long term? Get tips and cartwheels and learn more about risks or opportunities. Our stock market specialist and expert author Sven Jösting reports critically, independently and competently.

Apr 11 2024

Bloom Energy convincing in the long haul

Bloom Energy is planning a cooperation with Shell to use its SOEC technology for the large-scale...
Apr 11 2024

Ballard – Prospects better than current market valuation

The share price of Ballard Power is at an all-time low. The published figures for the fourth...
Mar 18 2024

Search for the ideal hydrogen storage

Interview with Thomas Korn, CEO of water stuff & sun Startup company water stuff & sun has...
Mar 15 2024

Is exponential growth slowing down?

Fuel Cell Industry Review 2022 Year 2022 saw fuel cell shipments creep up over 2021 numbers,...
Mar 11 2024

On the way to becoming a green hydrogen partner

Oman aims to score points with H2 infrastructure Wind, sun and loads of expertise – these...
Mar 07 2024

We can master a scale-up for green hydrogen

Interview with Dr. Kai Fischer, Director at RWTH Aachen The efficient scaling of green hydrogen...
Mar 07 2024

Frustration over continuing uncertainties

Interview with Jorgo Chatzimarkakis, CEO of Hydrogen Europe There is a lot that needs sorting out...
Mar 05 2024

“If ever there was momentum for hydrogen, it is now”

Interview with Dr. Jochen Köckler, chairman of Deutsche Messe “We’re bringing people together.”...
Feb 28 2024

H2Direkt: Blueprint for heating with pure H2

The energy providers Thüga und Energie Südbayern (ESB) as well as Energienetze Bayern have...
Feb 26 2024

Just switch over?

Hydrogen in the existing natural gas network Whether hydrogen contributes to the clean heating...
Feb 26 2024

Pilot plant for coating bipolar plates

At Fraunhofer FEP (Fraunhofer-Institut für Organische Elektronik, Elektronenstrahl- und...
Feb 20 2024

55 MW electrolyzer to decarbonize Saarland

Hydrogen Regions series: HydroHub Fenne living lab The power plant site in Fenne, Völklingen, a...
Feb 20 2024

Chicken feathers as FC membrane material

Feathers from chickens or other poultry could in the future help make fuel cells more effective...
Feb 15 2024

SMEs demand more security

Guest article by André Steinau, CEO of GP Joule Hydrogen After all, the Ampel Coalition leading...
Feb 15 2024

Accelerated expansion of renewable energies

RED III is here – Elsewhere, the wait continues Progress is being made at EU level – albeit...
Feb 12 2024

Picea 2 relies on lithium instead of lead

HPS presents new product generation The company HPS Home Power Solutions has unveiled a new...
Feb 12 2024

H2 production by photocatalysis

The direct generation of hydrogen from sunlight has long been considered the most elegant solution...
Feb 05 2024

Regional instead of international

Hy-Fcell has it difficult asserting itself The aspiration of Landesmesse Stuttgart with Hy-Fcell...
Feb 01 2024

Hydrogeit Verlag turns 20 years old

Hydrogeit Verlag is proudly celebrating its 20th anniversary as a renowned specialist publisher in...
Jan 26 2024

Stracke other H2Now managing director

BMV Energy GmbH is entering the market as another player in hydrogen refueling stations. The...


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *