Ask a Fool: Do Plug Power and Ballard Power Systems Have a Future?

In this edition of The Motley Fool's "Ask a Fool" series, Motley Fool contributor Tyler Crowe and analyst Joel South take a question from a reader, who asks the question, "Do Plug Power (NASDAQ: PLUG  ) and Ballard Power Systems (NASDAQ: BLDP  ) have a future?"

The challenge for any company in the fuel cell space will be how quickly it can bring down costs. With other new energy technologies reducing costs at a pretty rapid pace, fuel cells will need to catch up if they really want to compete. Find out more about the current fuel cell landscape and which of these two stocks Tyler sees as having a better future by tuning into the video below.

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Read/Post Comments (7) | Recommend This Article (7)

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  • Report this Comment On April 28, 2014, at 11:53 AM, MarkGunnar wrote:

    The technology might work?

    Do some research man! Do you really think the big auto's are joking when they say they are rolling out large production runs of fuel cell vehicles in 2015? Do you think Posco would invest the way they have in not one but two 100MW production facilities in S. Korea (with USA developed Molten Carbonate Fuel Cell Technology) if it did not work? Posco just put up a 59MW fuel cell power park with the technology? At least a $100 million right there with plans for another 500 MW. Here's what does not work ... Its called our government to recognize that every time a storm comes and a tree branch falls on a power line it takes out 25% of the eastern seaboards electrical supply not to mention hundreds of millions of dollars in damage with critical infrastructure going down and perishable goods destroyed! Or Southern Calif. Edison and it estimated $7 Billion cost to DECOMMISSION San Onofre's little time bomb of a nuclear facility? That's value right? What is the cost to our health without clean energy? Do some research before you write articles!

    Hyundai "Tuscon" Fuel Cell Vehicle

    $499 per month w/ Free Fuel & Free Maintenance from Hyundai!!! (pure water for exhaust)

    https://www.hyundaiusa.com/tucsonfuelcell/

    Video below of what is happening in California at municipal wastewater treatment plants using fuel cell technology to produce 3 value streams of electricity, hydrogen and heat all from a human waste! This is pretty impressive in my opinion for hydro-refueling infrastructure.

    "New fuel cell sewage gas station in Orange County, CA may be world's first"

    http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/story?section=news/local/orange_...

    "It is here today and it is deployable today," said Tom Mutchler of Air Products and Chemicals Inc., a sponsor and developer of the project.

  • Report this Comment On April 28, 2014, at 11:56 AM, MarkGunnar wrote:

    Sorry ... I was posting a response to Eric Wessof at Greentech Efficiencies... This was not meant for Motley Fool. He questions whether Fuel Cell Technology actually works?

  • Report this Comment On April 28, 2014, at 12:41 PM, wx00807322 wrote:

    investing plug is really stupid. bad company, bad net cash. less than 1M on R&D every year. How possible it would successful?

  • Report this Comment On April 28, 2014, at 3:16 PM, jaketen2001 wrote:

    Tyler,

    Ballard does not have a stack that runs on natural gas. They do have a system that uses an unpressurized, room temperature methanol liquid. Much easier to store and transport than gaseous methane, or hydrogen for that matter. Just as easy as automobile 'gas'/liquid. They attach a reformer to it, and strip the hydrogen out of the methane liquid (afaik). But this technology is fundamentally different than FCEL's molten carbonate technology that runs much hotter and does actually consume natural gas inside its fuel cell stacks without the use of a reformer.

    All of Ballard's stacks are platinum loaded PEM style fuel cells that use hydrogen, whether or not they may be using a methane liquid with a reformer or not.

  • Report this Comment On April 28, 2014, at 3:51 PM, TMFDirtyBird wrote:

    @jaketen2001

    What I meant by natural gas was methane. Calling it natural gas isn't technically correct, I know, but the important message I was trying to get across is that they don't need to rely on pure hydrogen as a fuel source.

    Hope that clarifies,

    Tyler

  • Report this Comment On April 28, 2014, at 5:52 PM, nguyenq wrote:

    The technology is here now. Look at the Honda FCX Clarity offer - http://automobiles.honda.com/fcx-clarity/.

    Do your own research and critical thinking. Do not rely on so called analysts!

    They are here to promote their own agenda that lines up with the legacy utility like oil and utility.

    Sooner or later the end game is that our near future energy will depend on water and solar. Fossil fuel will be the dinosaurs.

    PLUG is in the huge niche market that produce GenDrive to power the fork lifts. From this it can further develops its technology for the Electric Vehicles. The analysts still clinged the old data and omitted recent 80M booked order and JV with Hyundai, purchase of RELION fuel cell manufacturer as well as total 150M 2014 expected bookings. His rumbling talks about PLUG was tiresome as it was copy over and over from short seller Seeking Alpha articles.

  • Report this Comment On April 29, 2014, at 10:30 AM, jargonific wrote:

    Its as simple as this: In May the option interest is 1550 at 3.00. It's 3500 at 5.00.

    More options traders believe the share price will land at 5.00 than lower.

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