Ballard has been in the fuel cell game for a couple of decades now. The Canadian company ran at a loss for many years banking on the fact that its fuel cells for cars would one day pay off and put it into a black bottom line.
I remember asking the Ballard reps at one conference several years ago when that day was going to be. They choked and hemmed and hawed and couldn’t give me a good answer. A couple of years later they sold off their fuel cell division for cars to the Ford – Daimler group.
And Ballard was ready to fall on their own sword, too saying basically to Ford – Daimler, if you don’t buy us out, then you’ll have to start from scratch in developing your own fuel cell technology. The caveat in the buyout was that Ballard got to use the technology and intellectual property to develop fuel cells that had no automotive application.
Now, fast forward a few years. According to the Globe and Mail, “The story today is that the quiet turnaround of this once high-tech supernova is almost complete.
“Mr. Sheridan and his team have done it by focusing on the development of fuel-cell systems for use in forklifts, buses and generators. Again, Batmobile-looking cars powered by fuel cells it is not. But money-making it potentially is, which is most important for Ballard’s long-suffering shareholders.
“The company’s products are now being sold around the world, including Europe, South America and India. Last week, it announced a trial plan for its fuel-cell power systems in the China Mobile telecom network. If, as expected, it leads to commercial deployment in China Mobile’s network, it would be a huge gain for Ballard.
“Walter Nasdeo, an analyst with Ardour Capital Investments in New York, is forecasting Ballard’s transformation to profitability by the fourth quarter of 2013. If it happens, it will likely make Ballard the first profitable, publicly traded fuel-cell company in the world.”
Need I say more?