Alternative energy company stocks with an increasing focus on hydrogen got a boost Wednesday after Nikola (NKLA -0.84%) announced a new letter of intent to accelerate the development of hydrogen fueling infrastructure in Germany. Shares of Nikola, Plug Power (PLUG 3.68%), and Bloom Energy (BE 2.30%) rose about 5% early in today's session.
Those gains had faded some, though, by noon EDT. At that time shares of Nikola and Plug Power were down almost 1%, while Bloom Energy shares had gained 2%.
Nikola announced it was planning to form a partnership with European pipeline network company OGE and IVECO, a brand of CNH Industrial (CNHI 0.60%), to support the distribution of hydrogen in Germany by providing production and storage solutions along with fueling locations to serve industrial needs.
Plug Power has said it plans to create several partnerships this year to expand its presence in the growing hydrogen power business in Europe. The hydrogen producer and fuel cell maker announced its intention to inter into a 50-50 joint venture (JV) with automaker Renault (RNSDF 9.70%) to integrate Plug Power's fuel cell technology into commercial vans in Europe. The JV seeks to claim more than 30% market share in European fuel-cell-powered light commercial vehicles. And the company has also said it will partner with Acciona, a supplier of renewable energy infrastructure, to launch a 50-50 JV to serve clients in Spain and Portugal. That venture hopes to gain a 20% market share in the green hydrogen business.
Nikola said its collaboration will "lead the installation of hydrogen fueling locations for all OEM fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) at key locations supported by OGE's hydrogen delivery systems." The three parties plan to increase the availability of hydrogen FCEVs and hydrogen fueling infrastructure. After its initial production of Tre battery-electric semi trucks, Nikola plans to produce the Tre as well as its Two FCEV trucks. IVECO is initially producing the truck prototypes at a facility in Ulm, Germany. IVECO also houses the New Holland and Case brands of agriculture and construction vehicles.
Gerrit Marx, president of commercial and specialty vehicles for CNH Industrial, said in a statement, "The ecosystem of transport will transform, and current business models along the value chain will change with the introduction of hydrogen and battery-powered heavy-duty trucks." Both Plug Power and Bloom Energy are working to expand business in the hydrogen fuel cell sector, so both stand to gain from increased global development of the needed infrastructure.