This fuel-cell forklift thing may be catching on after all…

Ballard Power saw a nice lift in its otherwise depressed stock price with the announcement today that it will supply at least 3,250 fuel cell stacks over the next 18 months to Plug Power, which will incorporate the stacks into its own fuel cell systems designed for the materials handling industry — i.e. forklifts. “Ballard anticipates that both the scale and cadence of associated product shipments will contribute to increased manufacturing efficiency and reduced fuel cell stack cost,” according to the company’s press release. Plug Power CEO Andy Marsh said the agreement with Ballard “is a reflection of the continuing growth of the sector, including new customers like Kroger Co. and repeat customers such as Sysco, who all feed into our manufacturing pipeline. Whole Foods, BMW, Central Grocers, Coca-Cola, FedEx Freight, Walmart Canada and Wegmans are among the companies now using Plug Power/Ballard fuel cell systems as part of their fleets of forklifts. Neither Ballard nor Plug Power are profitable yet, but they’re getting closer. That day when they get out of the red will be a long time coming and one to celebrate in the industry.

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