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Plug Power (PLUG +12.9%) and Ballard Power Systems (BLDP +9%) soar as an increased focus on...

Plug Power (PLUG +12.9%) and Ballard Power Systems (BLDP +9%) soar as an increased focus on battery costs for Tesla helps to bring attention to the companies. For its part, Tesla Motors (TSLA -1.5%) has trimmed a premarket loss and still trades in triple digits as investors bet the EV automaker can lowers the cost of batteries as new technologies develop.
Comments (18)
  • I wrote in Tesla's Matrix Moment that the company is relying on vastly improved battery technology over the long term, and that the prospects of this happening need to be weighed against new technologies, not current auto manufacturers:


    However none of that matters right now:

    10 Jun 2013, 09:54 AM Reply Like
  • Agree, I've always thought the reason the shorties are consistently wrong--and consistently getting burnt, shorting Tesla--is that they insist upon comparing Tesla to an inappropriate benchmark (e.g. Ford, or worse yet, Government Motors). I don't know what the appropriate benchmark would be; possibly, there isn't one; Tesla is constantly charting new territory. I'll tell you one thing I have learned: It is that I'd rather bet with Elon Musk, than against him.
    10 Jun 2013, 10:11 AM Reply Like
  • That's right, none of that matters right now, if you drive the Model S it will take all your doubts away. Remember Consumers, Motor Trend, and other magazines are saying: it's the BEST car on the road.
    10 Jun 2013, 10:04 AM Reply Like
  • I still think that the biggest potential for fuel cell is for large scale power generation.
    10 Jun 2013, 10:13 AM Reply Like
  • The biggest potential for fuel cells is to distract the public debate in favor of EVs. These two companies are very lucky pawns in a much larger game.
    10 Jun 2013, 10:16 AM Reply Like
  • BLDP has their hands in providing fuel cells for buses in Europe.


    They also have an agreement to advise the chinese for their own buses.


    And they are also providing power for mobile cellphone towers in areas where electricity is unreliable, such as India.


    They are much more than simply a 'pawn'


    10 Jun 2013, 10:46 AM Reply Like
  • There is no excuse to consider fuel cells from a technical or environmental perspective. Hydrogen is the least efficient, most environmentally damaging hydrocarbon derivative know to man. When considering the long tailpipe of hydrogen, is is considerably worse than the mine and burn cycle of coal. Hydrogen has no power, handling, safety or efficiency benefit - is the worst alternative on all of those measures. It has only one economic function: The magic trick of a water vapor exhaust hiding a filthy process to fool public and politicians into getting behind a product of the petrochemical industry as though it were a green alternative - which it resoundingly is not.
    10 Jun 2013, 11:10 AM Reply Like
  • We can agree for once, Julian. I basically discounted Hydrogen as one of the alternatives in my article. Unless some miracle advance for synthesizing hydrogen comes along, it doesn't look like much of an option, and synthesizing hydrogen is proving to be every bit as intractable a problem as truly efficient battery storage.
    10 Jun 2013, 11:18 AM Reply Like
  • How kind. You must also consider that purely from an environmental standpoint (and I would argue from an economic one too) that any partially efficient battery storage technology that exists and functions now can stand for the thin edge of the wedge for solar and battery/hydro storage solutions that actually do answer the market demand.


    The carbon footprint of producing solar panels is a bogus argument once you have enough solar power for the production of additional panels (and cars including their batteries). It is a solution that gets better and better to an ultimate conclusion of really really good.


    Hydrogen fuel cells are a distraction. They are an offensive distraction because they function to attract good will by deceit. They are a fraudulent and offensive distraction because the deceit is deliberate - they exist purely to sell a mertitless and filthy process of the petrochemical industry in answer to public and political concerns for the environment. It is a dangerous fraud because in the absence of deceit it has no stand-alone merit either economically or environmentally - its only purpose is to erode the resolve to invest in, the resolve to legislate for, and customer resolve to buy into legitimate solutions of wind, solar, hydro and battery EV.


    The dissembler's argument (or environmentalists suspension of disbelief) that Hydrogen can come from other sources besides process Natural Gas (a mixture of CO2, Methane, H2S and Mercury compounds) is a false premise because those processes start with electricity - which is the end product of a fuel cell that certainly does not require an entire hydrogen and fuel cell infrastructure to grow up to replace transmission by a simple (and existing) grid of wires and transformers and a simple battery for fixed or mobile storage.


    I would want to see the practice of promoting Hydrogen and Hydrogen Fuel Cells as a "green alternative" banned in law courts the world over because it is wrong.
    10 Jun 2013, 11:35 AM Reply Like
  • Your view is myopic, at best. If you are referring to Hydrogen production from fossil fuels (ie natural gas) than ok. But H2 can be mass produced as a by-product of any gasified hydrocarbon, and done in a closed loop process, generating ZERO in emissions. And you can effectively produce large amounts of Hydrogen in the gasification of solid waste, which is currently burned in incinerators, actually LOWERING the Hydrogen carbon footprint. I agree that storage presents a minor problem, but only in the short term. New advances are coming to the forefront for storage. Many more problems solved by using fuel cells for portable and stationary uses, over the heavy, short-lived battery applications. Field operations are better served by carrying a 12 once cannister of H2 rather than 85 pounds of batteries. Nay sayers be gone!
    11 Jun 2013, 01:03 AM Reply Like
  • My view regarding Hydrogen is 95% myopic for US production (which is from fossil fuels). Where I get to 100% is because the remaining 5% can do more harm that good in the form of providing something for the 95% to point to as an excuse to displace valid alternatives.
    11 Jun 2013, 02:01 AM Reply Like
  • Vico Confino
    Let's do a little bit reverse engineering.
    We are lucky there was no internet when autos were first mass produced.
    The naysayers would be shouting that there are not enough gas stations to drive long distances. When oil supplies ran out, the cars would be worthless. American buyers would be at the mercy of overseas suppliers and gasoline would go from .18cents per gallon to $4 a gallon.
    Thank goodness our elected bureaucrats in their wisdom were able to overcome these doomsday rumor mongers.
    So where are we today. Oil companies and bureaucrats who have become rich beyond their wildest imagination.
    They are now bent on saving us poor abused citizens by refusing to allow Tesla to sell their proven autos of the future unless they open a dealership in states with neanderthal mentality.
    And now the naysayers are claiming that gas stations are selling less obscene taxed gas at the pumps and it is reducing state tax revenues. Look out EV owners they are proposing a tax on your vehicle to make up for the shortfall.
    Please read the book titled "TESLA" by Margaret Cheney and you will be amazed how history is repeating itself.
    For those who are not aware, Nickola Tesla was the inventor of AC electric current, the radio and wireless communication etc. over 100 years ago.
    Of course the numbers crunchers have already proven to us that that 2+2 =3.
    Got to go now and unplug my Tesla S with a full charge and get to work.
    Stay well,
    Vico Confino
    10 Jun 2013, 10:43 AM Reply Like
  • vico
    you are as eloquent as usual.
    10 Jun 2013, 11:25 AM Reply Like
  • Reply: uscpaul
    Thank you for your kind comments.
    Just remember as I do, that I am just an 80 year old kid from Brooklyn, New York who did not go to college and learned street smarts from the first generation of corrupt politicians and con men that existed then. I paid for that education dearly and it served me well throughout my lifetime.
    "The more things change, the more they stay the same".
    Stay well my friend and never,never, ever give up.
    Vico Confino
    10 Jun 2013, 12:44 PM Reply Like
  • Looks like the people at Barron's have made a splash prior to their article coming out tomorrow, but I don't think that it is quite what they thought it would be. There is another article, also, on Green Car Reports about why Musk hung up on those people. Just look at the graph of how battery technology is improving. Also, remember how slow and expensive the first computers were and how few people realized their full potential, during those early years, especially with the general population. Again, the flap over the batteries was/is just another swipe at those who are trying to undermine Tesla's efforts at altering the status quo. It seems useless to try to say anything ... like swiping at illusions in the smoke. But we can try ...
    10 Jun 2013, 12:37 PM Reply Like
  • I can understand why Elon terminated the interview.
    Barron's:"The challenge is battery cost. The Morgan Stanley analyst assumes that it can drop by half, from $400 to $200 per kilowatt hour," and then "At GM, Director of Global Battery Systems Bill Wallace believes that battery-capacity costs can improve by about 20% in the next few years"


    The Tesla Model S 60kwh costs 64.570 without lifetime supercharger-access. The optional upgrade to supercharger-access is 2.000 USD.
    The optional update from 60kwh to 85kwh INCL. lifetime supercharger-access is 73.570 USD.
    From that we can see, that Tesla charges 8.000 USD for the 25kwh-difference between 60kwh and 85kwh.
    That's 320 USD / kwh RETAIL!
    Assuming a 15% gross-margin Tesla would pay 272 usd / kwh, which is already 32% less than the "analyst assumes" the price should be today, and even less than the other "expert" thinks the price should be "in the next few years".


    A reporter, that cannot do this simple math himself, is really a waste of time for Elon...
    10 Jun 2013, 03:36 PM Reply Like
  • I have no idea why Plug and Ballard went up but it has nothing to do with Tesla, and less than nothing to with that misguided Barron's report.
    10 Jun 2013, 08:24 PM Reply Like
  • Ballard continued gains from Friday where it was announced they will be powering cellular towers in areas where electricity is unreliable (i.e. India, Pakistan, etc)
    10 Jun 2013, 08:54 PM Reply Like
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