Ballard Power Systems (BLDP - Free Report) announced that it has accepted a Letter of Intent (LOI) from Van Hool NV to provide FCveloCity-HD 100-kilowatt fuel cell engines to SMTU-PPP (Syndicat Mixte de Transports urbains – Pau Portes des Pyrénées) and the STAP (Société de Transport de l'Agglomération Paloise) in Pau, France.
Per the LOI, Van Hool, a Ballard partner in Europe, will be building eight ExquiCity tram-buses which will be energized using the aforementioned fuel cell engines during the second half of 2019.
Fuel Cell Development
Ballard’s Technology team is working relentlessly to provide clean services in order to accelerate fuel cell development not only in the United States but also across other markets in Canada, China, and Europe.
The company announced its collaboration with Nisshinbo Holdings, an Environmental and Energy company, to develop a Non Precious Metal Catalyst (NPMC) that will be utilized in the world’s first commercialized NPMC-based proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell product in Canada. This new technology is expected to reduce the amount of platinum in an air-cooled fuel cell stack by more than 80%.
Order Backlog and Recent Project
Most recently the company announced that it has secured an Order Backlog of $263.5 million as of June 30th, 2017. In addition, Ballard made an announcement that it had attained a 12-month Order Book of $97.2 million, a portion of the Order Backlog that it expects to deliver in the upcoming 12-month period. The management believes that this backlog underscores Ballard's positive and continuing growth trajectory going forward.
In July, the company had announced that it entered into a agreement with SunLine Transit Agency to supply five 150 kilowatt (KW) FCveloCity fuel cell engines. Per the agreement, Ballard’s collaboration with BAE Systems (BAESY - Free Report) , supplier of electric drive systems, and North American bus OEM, ElDorado National, will deliver transit service by supplying fuel cell buses to SunLine Transit Agency. (Read more: Ballard Power to Supply Fuel Cell Buses to SunLine Transit)
Cleaner Future with Fuel cell Technology
Fuel cell electric buses provide affordable zero-emission transportation. Governments worldwide are focused on developing clean energy transportation systems in direct response to climatic effects of air pollution caused by conventional engines.
Notably, fuel cells have become a viable option for vehicles as a result of this technology. Consequently, it has been drawing attention due to zero emissions and reliability benefits. Apart from Ballard Power other companies like Plug Power (PLUG - Free Report) and FuelCell Energy, Inc. (FCEL - Free Report) are taking steps toward introducing novel fuel cell alternatives.
With Ballard’s focus on growing revenues from high margin businesses, in particularly heavy duty and technology solutions, it is poised to benefit by developing fuel cell products and systems going forward.
As such the company’s relationship with Van Hool to use Heavy Duty power module in its tram-buses for deployment in France is a further testament to Van Hool's confidence in Ballard's fuel cell technology and products. The company’s strong market expansion of fuel cell-powered mass transit vehicles in Europe is also a sign of growing importance of zero-emission fuel cell solutions globally.
Ballard Power Systems has outperformed the industry in the last one year. The company’s shares gained 145.8% compared with the industry’s advance of 38.7%.
Such an outperformance can be attributed to the company’s 50% year-on-year revenue growth, six-point improvement in gross margin and positive adjusted EBITDA, first for a publicly listed company in the fuel cell industry, during the second quarter.
Ballard Power currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
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