Plug Power, one of the leading fuel cell makers for warehouse lift trucks and airport tow vehicles is cutting 22 jobs (out of 120 employees) this holiday season. Now, you would think that a do-good green company would have a heart and make such a move after the holidays were over.
To be a bit a little fairer, however, it’s true, that Plug Power has been bleeding money quarter after quarter. According to BizJournals.com, “The cuts come a month after Plug announced a net loss of $10.3 million in the third quarter, up from a net loss of $6.3 million in the year-ago period. Prior to the layoffs, Plug has about 120 employees …
“… Plug Power estimates it needs to have $18 million to $25 million in quarterly revenue in order to hit profitability. It is not projecting when it will hit that benchmark.”
Now there is some hope that further cuts won’t have to be made next Christmas season. For instance back in May 2012 I had talked about Plug Power converting 200 battery-operated forklifts to fuel cell vehicles. And on November 29, 2012 Plug Power made an additional announcement that they would be converting more vehicles for Proctor and Gamble bringing the total to 340 FCVs.
In addition, on November 20, 2012 the U. S. Department of Energy awarded Plug Power $2.5 million to convert 15 battery electric airport tow tractors into fuel cell vehicles. The FCV tow tractors will be used at two different Fed Ex airport locations in California and Tennessee.
Plug Power has been one of those game changing companies in regard to commercialization of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. Who would have thought 10 years ago a hydrogen-powered forklift would be the first of such vehicles?
My hope is that Plug Power survives and thrives and puts their products in every warehouse and airport coast to coast. My other hope is that this leading edge green company shows a little more sensitivity and compassion towards their employees when things aren’t going as planned.