Hyundai Rolls Out Hydrogen-Powered SUV in Europe

Posted On June 13, 2013 | by AllenCaron
2012_10_Hyundai-ix35-Fuel-Cell (courtesy of autoevolution.com)

Photo courtesy of autoevolution.com

The news warranted only a blip in the Los Angeles Times, a mere six sentences: Hyundai introduced its hydrogen-powered ix35 sports utility vehicle this month, but only in Europe, not in the United States.

Why introduce such an innovative alternative energy vehicle in Europe? There is an established infrastructure of hydrogen fueling stations in Italy, Germany and Belgium. According to the LAT, many more of these stations are planned in Europe and Scandinavia are in the planning stages.

In a longer, related story in Beforeitsnews.com, BMW installed a hydrogen storage and distribution area in its 4 million-square-foot automobile production plant in Spartanburg, SC, and is now developing the “largest fleet of fuel cell forklift” trucks at that facility. The website quotes Plug Power in making a case for the value of hydrogen fuel cells, noting that fuel cells are “an alternative to lead acid batteries…lower operational costs, produce zero emissions and improve reliability. The site then added more from Plug Power, stating that “Fuel cell usage eliminates the need for large battery storage and charging rooms, freeing up valuable production space and removing any lead and sulfuric acid contamination from the work environment. Since battery charging is no longer required, total electricity demand is reduced and the fees associated with battery recycling and disposal are eliminated.”

These news stories are certainly good news for the hydrogen fuel cell movement. But what have they done for small cap fuel cell stocks? Here are three related stocks and their trading prices from two years ago:

British Columbia-based Ballard Power Systems (Nasdaq: BLDP, http://www.ballard.com/) manufactures and sells fuel cells and fuel cell materials for the automobile and other markets. Two years ago its market cap was $132 million. Since then BLDP has dropped as low as $0.56, but has rallied more recently. BLDP closed June 13 at $1.84, down 15 cents on the day, and the market cap is now $182 million. Its average trading volume has also gone up, from about 400,000 shares a day back then to 1.3 million shares a day today. Its 52-week trading range is $0.56-$2.39.

Danbury, CT-based FuelCell Energy Inc. (Nasdaq: FCEL, http://www.fuelcellenergy.com/) makes a variety of fuel cells. When it reported second quarter earnings June 6 (quarter ended April 30) it beat analysts’ estimates on top (revenue of $42.4 million was up 76 percent over the prior year of $24.2 million) and bottom lines, and margins increased as well, according to The Motley Fool. FCEL closed at $1.33 two years ago. On June 13, FCEL closed at $1.42, up one cent for the day, with a market cap of $272 million. Its 52-week trading range is $0.83-$1.64.

Latham, NY-based Plug Power Inc. (Nasdaq: PLUG, http://www.plugpower.com/) manufactures fuel cell systems for industrial off-road markets and stationary power markets. Two years ago Roth Capital cleantech analyst phillip Shen initated coverage of PLUG with a buy and a price target of $4. At the time PLUG stock was trading at $2.27. PLUG closed June 13 at $0.45, down 4 cents for the day, with a market cap of about $32 million. Its 52-week trading range is $0.12-$1.30.

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