Company sees major promise in China
Plug Power, a leading developer of hydrogen fuel cells, is looking to China for new opportunities. The company has a long history in the United States, but it has struggled to find market growth in the country in recent years. China, however, is proving to be a much more attractive and lucrative market for hydrogen fuel cells. Plug Power CEO Andy Marsh has been traveling to China in recent months, meeting with fuel cell and hydrogen partners in many prominent Chinese cities.
China’s fuel cell market is growing quickly
China is expected to be the world’s largest fuel cell market within the next three years. The country has been investing quite heavily in fuel cells in an effort to become environmentally friendly and reduce reliance on fossil-fuels. Hydrogen fuel cells are also becoming more important in the transportation space, which has been a major producer of harmful emissions for China for many years. The Chinese government is eager to reduce emissions produced by vehicles by embracing clean technology.
Materials handling proves to be a very valuable market for hydrogen fuel cells
According to Andy Marsh, Plug Power is close to achieving its goal of profitability due to its applications in materials handling. Using fuel cells to power forklift trucks has become a popular concept. Hydrogen fuel cells produce no harmful emissions, making them ideal for use indoors. They can also be fueled in a matter of minutes, whereas traditional lead-acid batteries can take several hours to charge fully. Currently, the materials handling space accounts for 80% of Plug Power’s business.
Plug Power to also provide hydrogen fuel cells for fleet vehicles
The next step for Plug Power is to establish a stronger presence in transportation. The company plans to provide hydrogen fuel cells to fleet vehicles. Indeed, the company has already begun doing so, providing FedEx with hybrid fuel cell systems that can power its vehicles. These systems allow FedEx’s vehicles to travel further and produce fewer emissions overall.