Plug Power Aims For $1B In Revenue By 2024
“That approach has given us a unique position to move into other applications,” Marsh said. “We think about where fuel cells work and where fuel cells aren’t ready yet. That’s how we built the first commercial market and continue to build other markets in this industry.”
flashier companies in the hydrogen fuel cell space, Plug’s core business is no frills – making fuel cells that power forklifts in warehouses and distribution centers. The company has shipped more than 28,000 units to dozens of warehouse customers, including 20 Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) and 40 Walmart Inc (NYSE: WMT) locations. ” data-reactid=”50″>Unlike some flashier companies in the hydrogen fuel cell space, Plug’s core business is no frills – making fuel cells that power forklifts in warehouses and distribution centers. The company has shipped more than 28,000 units to dozens of warehouse customers, including 20 Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) and 40 Walmart Inc (NYSE: WMT) locations.
That business will continue to grow over the next five years in tandem with warehouse expansion, said Marsh. Technology development agreements with the two shippers aimed at exploring new yet-to-be revealed applications are expected to drive additional revenue.
A Three-Pronged Approach
Growing its materials handling division to $750 million by 2024 is one of several action items in the company’s five-year plan, Marsh said.
A second bucket of revenue will come from manufacturers’ stationary power systems, which provide backup power for telecoms and data center customers. That division is expected to generate $50 million by 2024, Marsh said.
A Shift To On-Road Vehicles
hydrogen technical advisory committee for the U.S. Department of Energy. ‘ data-reactid=”63″>Ever more stringent policies restricting fossil fuel use in Europe will continue to drive market adoption of fuel cell vehicles, said Marsh, who serves on the hydrogen technical advisory committee for the U.S. Department of Energy.
“Soon there won’t be any other solution but to have a vehicle that is decarbonized to make deliveries,” Marsh said.
“If we look at just the work we are doing for DHL and StreetScooter,” he added, “they could satisfy 25%-30% of that [$200 million] goal, just that one program.”
at the North American Commercial Vehicle Show, Hyundai Motor Company introduced two hydrogen concepts, a Concept Class 8 heavy-duty truck and refrigerated trailer.’ data-reactid=”70″>Earlier this month, at the North American Commercial Vehicle Show, Hyundai Motor Company introduced two hydrogen concepts, a Concept Class 8 heavy-duty truck and refrigerated trailer.
And just this week, Daimler’s Chinese truck venture partner, Beiqi Foton Motor, announced it aims to sell 200,000 new energy commercial vehicles a year by 2025.
The new concepts are driven in part by prevailing industry sentiment about the advantages of hydrogen as a fuel in certain vehicle use cases.
With increased power density and faster fueling times, fuel cells do better in long-haul trucking applications. Battery electric vehicles are better suited to short-haul vehicles maneuvering in dense urban environments.
Saying he is “not a purist who thinks fuel cells solve everything,” Marsh reaffirmed that perspective. “I like to think: What would I buy if I were a customer?’ Marsh mused. “If I were delivering packages in a range of 25 miles a day in the city, I’d use battery. If I was going city-to-city or delivering in a large city like Houston or Philadelphia, I would use fuel cells.”
On China, A Cautious Approach
China is also fueling market interest in hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. To meet its ambitious goal of putting one million hydrogen vehicles on the road by 2030, the county has put in place incentives for new energy cars and trucks, along with penalties for fossil fuel transport.
“China is a gold rush for many companies,” Marsh said. “But we have a good business already and can be successful without China.”
One of the China-bound companies is competitor Ballard Power, a Canadian firm that last year closed a Chinese joint venture deal that will build trucks for the Chinese market.
Marsh said Plug is “very concerned about issues like intellectual property,” and that “most of the deals with the Chinese require giving them equity and ownership in your company, with their ultimate goal is to own the company.”
He then said, “Quite honestly, that’s not who we are.”
Committing To Clean Hydrogen
In addition to meeting the revenue goals, Plug has other initiatives underway. A top priority is increasing the amount of hydrogen Plug sources from renewable energy. Plug is the world’s largest user of liquid hydrogen, with 20 tons used daily. Like the rest of the world, the manufacturer sources most of its hydrogen from natural gas. Only 20% comes from renewable energy.
That will change by 2024, when Plug aims to be using four times more hydrogen, Marsh said, but with an expectation that 50% of the liquid fuel will come directly from solar through a process known as solar electrolysis. To accelerate that transition, Plug is pursuing partnerships that will enable large-scale hydrogen generation using clean energy.
“Renewable sources are really, really critical,” Marsh said.
Image by (Joenomias) Menno de Jong from Pixabay
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