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Zero-Emission Hydrogen Vehicle Starts Trials in Wales

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First Hydrogen Corp. announced it has started month-long trials of its hydrogen fuel-cell-powered light commercial vehicle (FCEV) with a utility company in Wales.

First Hydrogen Corp. (FHYD:TSX; FHYDF:OTC; FIT:FSE) announced it has started month-long trials of its hydrogen fuel-cell-powered light commercial vehicle (FCEV) with a utility company in Wales.

Wales & West Utilities (WWU) operates 24 hours a day year-round to deliver gas network services serving more than 7.5 million customers across Wales and Southwest England. The company is particularly interested in hydrogen power and has put forward a proposal for a hydrogen pipeline.

The trials are taking place during winter, WWU's busiest period for callouts, First Hydrogen noted.

"Typically, cold temperatures can reduce the range for battery electric vehicles (BEVs), affecting fleet operators' reliability," First Hydrogen said in a release. "The trials could also generate data to indicate the FCEV's advantage over BEVs in lower temperatures depending on the weather over the next month."

First Hydrogen plans to demonstrate that its FCEVs have a greater range, towing power, and refueling capability than those conventional electric vehicles.

"Our FCEV has clear benefits for utility businesses such as WWU, and we're keen to generate performance data during the trial that will further demonstrate how our vehicles can help decarbonize similar fleets while meeting everyday operational demands," said First Hydrogen Executive Director Steve Gill. "This trial also pilots a hydrogen-as-a-service model to show operators how practically we can support the transition to FCEV fleets."

Fuel Cell Emits Water Vapor, Warm Air

The most abundant molecule in the universe, hydrogen has the "potential for near-zero greenhouse gas emissions," the U.S. Department of Energy has said.

"Hydrogen generates electrical power in a fuel cell, emitting only water vapor and warm air," the agency wrote. "It holds promise for growth in both the stationary and transportation energy sectors."

The world will need more hydrogen technology and projects to meet a net-zero emission scenario by 2050, according to the International Energy Agency.

Technical Analyst Clive Maund has rated First Hydrogen as a "Buy."  

"Faster action is required on creating demand for low-emission hydrogen and unlocking investment that can accelerate production scale-up and deployment of infrastructure," the agency wrote.

It's also a "uniquely versatile energy carrier," according to a report by the Hydrogen Council. "It can be produced using different energy inputs and different production technologies. It can also be converted to different forms and distributed through different routes — from compressed gas hydrogen in pipelines through liquid hydrogen on ships, trains or trucks, to synthesized fuel routes."

Global Market Insights estimates that the market size for hydrogen vehicles will grow by 28% annually from approximately US$2.8 billion in 2022 to US$33.2 billion in 2032. The report identified government initiatives to transition away from fossil fuels, as well as the general public's desire for green transportation, as major drivers of the market.

Solution 'Will Meet Our Fleet's Future Needs'

WWU's trials of the FCEV started with training for the drivers on the operation of the vehicle. Drivers performed maneuvers and even completed a callout to a customer's residence.

"The drivers also practiced refueling the vehicle with green hydrogen, supplied by Protium Green Solutions, at Hyppo Hydrogen Solutions' refueling unit," First Hydrogen noted. "Both organizations have helped to develop a hydrogen ecosystem to support First Hydrogen's trial with WWU."

Newsletter writer Ron Struthers said there was support for hydrogen technology from governments across North America and Europe, which can be a major catalyst for the company.

Current light commercial electric vehicles on the market don't offer full solutions for WWU and smaller businesses, WWU noted.

"Current battery electric vehicles do not provide the range, fast recharging time, payload capacity, and towing ability we require," said WWU transport manager Stephen Offley. "They are also unsuitable for the installation of on-board power to power tools and equipment on site, which is critical for the operation of our network. Lack of suitable recharging infrastructure also poses a challenge. We see hydrogen-powered vehicles, such as First Hydrogen's FCEV, as the potential zero-emission solution that will meet our fleet's future needs."

Hyppo Hydrogen Solutions Chief Executive Officer Chris Foxall said the trial is "demonstrating the readiness level of the hydrogen technology available today, but also how we're leveraging so many companies to deliver a bespoke solution which can be scaled and repeated."

Support From Governments Could Be Major Catalyst

Technical Analyst Clive Maund has rated First Hydrogen as a "Buy."  

"There has been some determined heavy buying in recent days, and with the 50-day moving average turning higher, it looks like it is starting to break out of the latest bull Flag shown into another upleg," Maund wrote last July. He also commented that a short drop has made the company's stock more accessible to new investors on the American market.

Newsletter writer Ron Struthers said there was support for hydrogen technology from governments across North America and Europe, which can be a major catalyst for the company.

"First Hydrogen is at the very beginning of its growth cycle," Struthers said. "It will have revenues from selling FCEVs that have now reached acceptance, and I expect it will soon see major purchase orders."

streetwise book logoStreetwise Ownership Overview*

First Hydrogen Corp. (FHYD:TSX; FHYDF:OTC; FIT:FSE)

*Share Structure as of 2/8/2024

The company's investor presentation reports a number of catalysts, including the rollout of its first generation of vehicles expected in 2026 and its next generation of large vehicles expected in 2028.

Ownership and Share Structure

Refinitiv provided a breakdown of the company's ownership and share structure, where management and insiders own approximately 7.47% of the company. According to Refinitiv, Head of Strategy Nicholas Wrigley owns 6.04% of the company with 3 million shares and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Balraj S. Mann owns 1.43% of the company with 0.71 million shares.

Refinitiv reports one institutional investor, Fuchs & Associés Finance, with 0.01% with 0.01 million shares.

There are 70.92 million shares outstanding with 67.11 million free float traded shares. The company has a market cap of CA$113.5million and trades in a 52-week range of CA$1.40 and CA$4.20.

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Important Disclosures:

  1. First Hydrogen Corp. has a consulting relationship with an affiliate of Streetwise Reports, and pays a monthly consulting fee between US$8,000 and US$20,000.
  2. As of the date of this article, officers and/or employees of Streetwise Reports LLC (including members of their household) own securities of First Hydrogen Corp.
  3. Steve Sobek wrote this article for Streetwise Reports LLC and provides services to Streetwise Reports as an employee.
  4.  This article does not constitute investment advice and is not a solicitation for any investment. Streetwise Reports does not render general or specific investment advice and the information on Streetwise Reports should not be considered a recommendation to buy or sell any security. Each reader is encouraged to consult with his or her personal financial adviser and perform their own comprehensive investment research. By opening this page, each reader accepts and agrees to Streetwise Reports' terms of use and full legal disclaimer. Streetwise Reports does not endorse or recommend the business, products, services or securities of any company. 

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