Ballard Power (BLDP) Named As Supplier For Fuel Cell Bus - Analyst Blog

A global leader in fuel cell technology Ballard Power Systems, Inc. (BLDP) has been selected by the heavy-duty transit bus manufacturer New Flyer Industries to supply its first next-generation FCvelocity-HD7 fuel cell power module. Ballard Power’s fuel cell modules are being increasingly used in mass transit.

Benefits of the New Modules

The new modules which are scheduled for delivery later this year will be easier to integrate in buses compared to earlier versions of fuel cell modules. A lot of research and development has gone into the making of these modules to make it user friendly.

The latest modules from Ballard Power will be used in New Flyer Industries’ next generation fuel cell bus. The bus will be sent to Altoona, PL for testing and qualification prior to being deployed into revenue service under the U.S. Federal Transit Administration (FTA) National Fuel Cell Bus Program.

Longstanding Ties

The alliance between New Flyer Industries and Ballard Power Systems dates back over two decades. The companies successfully partnered on BC Transit's fuel cell demonstration fleet of 20 buses, which ran from 2009 to 2014 in Whistler, British Columbia. These quality performers have once again come together to promote zero-emission mass transit vehicles.

Fuel Cell Modules in Mass Transit

In January this year, Solaris Bus & Coach, a leading player in the European bus industry, signed an agreement with Ballard for two zero emission fuel cell power modules. In May, Ballard Power Systems signed an agreement with CALSTART  to deploy a fuel cell hybrid bus in 2015 at the University of California campus. In June, SunLine Transit Agency of Thousand Palms, CA, deployed two new fuel cell buses, each powered by a Ballard FCvelocity®-HD6 fuel cell module.

We are seeing an increasing uptake of fuel cell modules for mass transit. Although these initiatives are yet to start on a very large scale it is surely a move in the right direction.

Besides buses, Ballard’s fuel cells are utilized in other commercial applications as well. Ballard Power’s shares closed at $4.25 yesterday reflecting a year-to-date gain of 179.6%. This not only proves the growing popularity of this technology, but also the faith of investors in fuel cell stocks.

Focus Areas

Ballard Power is presently focusing on developing fuel cells for everyday commercial purposes. The company has designed and shipped nearly 150 MW of hydrogen fuel cell technology to date.

The rising demand for fuel cell modules will enable the company to enjoy economies of scale and pass on the benefits of costs to the end user.

Zacks Rank

Ballard Power Systems currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks in this space include AU Optronics Corp. (AUO), Park Electrochemical Corp. (PKE) and Nidec Corp. (NJ). While AU Optronics Corp and Park Electrochemical carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Nidec Corporation holds a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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