There are ‘unprecedented developments and interest in fuel cell electric mobility’ and ‘excellent sales momentum’ in hydrogen fuelling equipment as we pass the mid-point in 2019.
That’s according to the financial disclosures this week of two prominent players in the hydrogen energy sector, McPhy and Ballard Power Systems.
Revealing its results for the first half of 2019, during which the company recorded a 23% increase in revenues to €4.3m, France-based McPhy listed over €7m in orders booked in France and abroad in its highlights for the period.
McPhy is a leading supplier of hydrogen production, storage and distribution equipment, and particularly hydrogen fuelling stations. Delivery of a station for refuelling the first 100%-hydrogen bus line in France was largely behind the company’s stand-out results for the first six months of the year.
In the presence of the project’s partners, 21stJune saw the Artois-Gohelle Transport Authority (SMT-AG) inaugurate France’s first refuelling station for hydrogen buses in Houdain (Hauts-de-France Region). The entire clean hydrogen production, storage and distribution chain is equipped with McPhy technology.
A ‘genuine innovation’ in France, this 100% hydrogen bus line and its dedicated refuelling station are precursors of the ‘zero emission mobility’ revolution that is becoming increasingly widespread in France, Europe and globally, McPhy says.
The last six months has also seen McPhy launch its ‘Augmented McFilling’ smart hydrogen station architecture for heavy-duty vehicles. The patent has been filed for the technology, which is able to address the massive hydrogen needs inherent to the necessary decarbonisation of heavy-duty transport and long-distance vehicles (trains, trucks and buses). The system’s innovative architecture combines compression, storage, cooling and vehicle delivery functions, and utilises smart supervision software which makes the station dynamically reconfigurable for an infinite number of usage scenarios and real-time adaptation to clients’ requirements with no capacity limits.
“Orders booked in July alone included a McFilling 200-350 station in Germany and an additional station as part of the aforementioned EAS-HyMob’ project in Normandy – taking the total number of McFilling hydrogen stations already or currently being installed to 23”
But it is perhaps the company’s order backlog which is most impressive, demonstrating the continued momentum in the hydrogen energy value chain globally.
McPhy booked orders for six stations for the deployment of hydrogen mobility as part of the ‘EAS-HyMob’ project in the Eure and Calvados departments (Normandy), an order for a 40kg per day 30-bar electrolyser for a hydrogen station in Chambéry, France as part of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region’s ‘Zero Emission Valley’ project, an order for 2MW of high-power electrolysis in Germany for the Energy market, and the largest ever order for its PIEL product range with 11 electrolysers for the Bangladesh Meteorological Department.
Orders booked in July (2019) alone included a McFilling 200-350 station in Germany, as part of a similar project to the one undertaken with the SMT-AG transport authority, and an additional station as part of the aforementioned EAS-HyMob’ project in Normandy – taking the total number of McFilling hydrogen stations already or currently being installed to 23.
Across the Atlantic, Vancouver-based Ballard Power Systems announced an equally positive project pipeline as part of its second quarter 2019 financials disclosure.
Revenue of $23.7m was down 11% on a year-on-year basis, reflecting significantly lower Heavy-Duty Motive and Portable Power/UAV revenues, but was partially offset by increases in its Technology Solutions and Material Handling business. Ballard was able to point to an expanded order backlog of $211.6m at end of Q2, and a 12-month order book that increased 66% to $126.7m at the end of the quarter.
This includes agreement with the Weichai-Ballard joint venture for the supply of a mix of certain fuel cell products and components with a total value of $44m to Ballard, planned for delivery in 2019 and 2020, and a purchase order from Wrightbus for 20 FCveloCity®-HD fuel cell modules to power two-deck, zero-emission buses in London, UK under the JIVE funding programme. All the modules are expected to ship in 2019 and the buses will support London’s world-first Ultra Low Emission Zone initiative, which was launched this year to improve air quality.
“We are seeing unprecedented developments and interest in fuel cell electric mobility, as reflected in our growing order book”
Subsequently, the company has also received a purchase order from Wrightbus for a further 15 FCveloCity®-HD fuel cell modules to power two deck, zero-emission buses in Aberdeen, Scotland (JIVE funding programme), modules which are expected to ship in 2019, and a purchase order from Solaris Bus & Coach for 12 FCmoveTM-HD fuel cell modules to power buses in Bolzano, Italy (JIVE programme). The latter modules are expected to ship in 2020.
Additionally, Ballard will provide 6 FCmoveTM-HD fuel cell modules to power two tractor-trailer trucks as part of an industry-led $11.2m Alberta Zero-Emissions Truck Electrification Collaboration (AZETEC) project. Collaboration with ABB and other consortium partners in the Flagships project to develop and launch a zero-emission river push boat planned for deployment in 2021 in France was announced too.
All of which led Randy MacEwen, President and CEO of Ballard Power Systems, to comment, “We are seeing unprecedented developments and interest in fuel cell electric mobility, as reflected in our growing order book.”