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Energy Insights:38: How to Invest in Fuel Cells

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38: How to Invest in Fuel Cells


The Need for a Fuel Cell Index

Fuel Cell and other Alternative Energy stocks are part of a hot sector which is here to stay. In the past, this sector was a money-loser and was largely ignored by Wall
Street. Since Alternative Energy stocks had failed to deliver on their promise for so many decades, there was some measure of institutionalized contempt for the idea that they could make money for investors. Thus, when FC stocks really started to go up in the Fall of '99, there was no index in place to measure or bring attention to the trend.


The Hydrogen Fuel Cell Institute's goal is to calmly reveal that the old days are gone. Alternative energy firms really can do well, make great products that will be practical, and thus reward their investors with profits. By showing how investing in clean energy is producing some sound returns (although past performance is no indication of future results), we accomplish the additional goal of encouraging development of these technologies. As activitists for change in the Energy Technology fields, we feel this is a worthwhile goal.


Notes to the WilderHill Fuel Cell Index:

01-22-2004: Review of Some Fuel Cell Investing Issues From 2003.

Graphs and Index raw numbers are based on delayed quotes and update once every fifteen minutes during trading hours. (9:30 AM EST to 4:00 PM EST)


Stocks Presently In the WilderHill Index:







 Astris Energi Inc.
On their site there is a link to their fuel cells for sale.

Alkaline Fuel Cells

Ontario, Canada Company with claims to pioneering Alkaline Fuel Cells Since 1983. Added to Index 01-30-04.


 Ballard Power Systems

Fuel Cells

Very important leader, rise of BLDP circa 1995 with Daimler investment sparked the first wave of investor interest in fuel cells. Serious Projects with Daimler Chrysler, Ford and have delivered for testing to Nissan. Interesting project with Coleman to make home-generator Fuel Cells.


 Distributed Energy Systems. Subsidiary: Proton Energy Systems

Fuel Cells, On-site H2 generation and storage.

"Proton Energy Systems, Inc. designs, develops, and manufactures Proton Exchange Membrane, or PEM, electrochemical products that it employs in hydrogen generating devices and in regenerative fuel cell systems that function as power generating and energy storage devices."


 Dynetek Industries

Hydrogen And Alternative Fuel Storage Cylinders and Systems

Trades as DNK on the Toronto Stock Exchange.


 Energy Conversion Devices

Hydride H2 Storage, additional membrane fuel-cell "battery" technology?

A much different animal than almost any other alternative energy company. Largely a materials-engineering R+D company specializing in thin-films, amorophous materials and membranes, with very serious products and patents and established business in PV solar energy, Hydrogen Storage, Environmentally-OK NiMH rechargeable batteries, not to mention computer memory. Parternships and stock interest from such companies as Texaco, Canon, Bekaert. 30-40 years of disappointing buy-and-hold investors makes them the grandfather of tilting-at-windmill-class stocks, but there's no disappointment in the products themselves. With the turnaround in A-E stocks, their investors' ship might finally come in.
Working on regenerative fuel cells. Texaco has purchased a 20% equity stake in ECD.


 FuelCell Energy

Fuel Cells

One of the real big hits, stock has appreciated so much the Index had to sell some of it. Investors also did very well from EVRC (Nickel Zinc batteries) spinoff.







 Hydrogenics Corporation

PEM Fuel Cells, also system integration, testing, diagnosis.

HYG on the Toronto Exchnage



Fuel Cells

Idaho Utility with focus on Fuel Cells. Bears Dividends.


 Impco Technologies

H2 Storage in Pressure Tanks

Unusual in this sector for having sizable current revenues. Is doing considerable hiring of H2 FC engineers and building strengths here, with an emphasis on transportation applications and hydrogen storage under pressure.


 ITM Power PLC

Fuel Cell Technology, Polymer Materials

Trades as ITM on the Alternative Investment Market in Great Britain.


 Millennium Cell

R+D NaBH4 Fuel Cell Technology

Intriguing use of sodium borohydride to both store and generate hydrogen safely; might potentially play an important role in answering the key H2 storage question for transportation and stationary uses.


 Medis Technologies, Ltd.

Smaller Fuel Cells (cell phones, computers)

Could be real competitor in the race to put FCs in the highly visible micro applications. An incubator staffed by Israeli/Russian scientists, is also active in other sectors such as medical technology fields. 07/15/01: Several recent announcements regarding smaller ethanol high-efficiency fuel-cells. This is unusual in that ethanol was not previously widely discussed as a possible fuel cell fuel and it is presently made from renewable sources (usually Corn).



Methanol from Natural Gas

Methanol is under consideration by some as an interim fuel on the way to an H2 Economy.


 Manhattan Scientifics

Smaller Fuel Cells for Bicycles, cell phones etc.

Some work with Methanol? Announcements seem to indicate bike project progressing. Stock dilutions with no sign of revenues a negative sign.


 Mechanical Technology

R+D in new-energy solutions, Helped form and has investments in SATC, PLUG, BCON.

39 year old company. Albany NY. Investments in PLUG, SATC make the index more weighted to those companies.


 Plug Power

Fuel Cells for homes using Natural Gas and Propane

Latham, NY... some work with GE... 11/99 IPO helped spark Fuel Cell Stock boom. 2 million per quarter in revenues vs. 02/23/01 3/4 Billion dollar market cap. ... 07/22/01: GE's "Homegen 7000" is a fuel cell designed and manufactured by Plug Power planned for mid-2002 release.


 Quantum Fuel Systems Technologies Worldwide Inc

Hydrogen, compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquid propane gas (LPG) handling and gaseous fuel storage system technologies for Fuel Cells, Alt-Fuel Vehicles, Refueling Infrastructure

Spun off from IMCO 7-23-02. Worth keeping in Index because of many activities relevant to fuel cells.



Electric Controllers, Converters, Power and Energy Management Products

Fuel Cell power converters for IDA, HPOW. Power inverters for PLUG. Part-owned by MKTY which also part-owns PLUG. BCON (flywheels) is also a subsidiary or associate.



Natural Gas into Synthetic Liquid Fuels

Recent work with FCEL. Economics of natural gas and syn-gas industries recently dictated by higher-prices. Some Big-name Hydrocarbon companies work with them. Relevance to Fuel-Cell sector debatable, but in index for now.

Only small and mid-cap stocks are tracked by this index. Large Diversified Companies such as General Electric, United Technologies and Texaco have a tremendous influence and involvement with fuel cells, but their stock prices reflect their diversified interests and so it is difficult to use them for a fuel-cell stock index.


Under consideration to buy:
NVRA: After they're listed and have been trading for awhile. Arthur Little connection carries weight.


Under consideration to sell:
AVA: They seem to be giving indication that they're moving away or want to spin off the Fuel Cell side of their business.

02/25/02: MEOH: While Methanol is a candidate for many fuel cell efforts, MEOH does not produce it renewably and they obviously do not share any of the renewable-sustainable-energy and environmental principles that many fuel cell industry companies do. This is particularly evident in their NAFTA lawsuit to force Californians and others to use the environmentally nasty product MTBE additive in fuel as an Oxygenate. SYNM: Inadequate relevance?

Topics of Debate:

How relevant are biofuel investments to Fuel Cell investing? Here is an interesting discussion of ethanol fuel cell efforts. The Renewable Fuels Association website,, also tends to carry such information and news releases. Here is an example.

EFCX, Metallic Power (not yet IPO'd): Are Some Zinc-Air Batteries Fuel Cells? If they can do the job, does it matter?


Other Fuel-Cell Related Stocks and Companies:
Alti Apd Asrnf.ob Coleman (working with Ballard on portable fuel cells) Dqe Dte Ec Efcx Egyv.ob Fact Fct.V Jmplf (Johnson Matthey, PLC... Stock symbols for Companies outside of the US can often vary widely on US stock quote servers, so you may need to look them up by name) Kse Mag Px Sgg (an interesting, but older presentation) Stg.v Sthk Superior Micropowders (private) Ucr Uqm

Other Fuel Stocks (biofuels, fuel-from-waste, fuel-from-fossil-fuels):
Adm Atf.v Cpo Dymtf Ecco Efti Ftek Hipc Jlmi Mwgp Ncx Rei Rtk Sspc Stde Wmb Wmi

Mutual Funds:

NALFX, Nuveen Fuel Cell Sector Fund (you will need to search their site a little)
MNE.L (on yahoo): Merrill Lynch is apparently offering a "New Energy Technology" fund in Britain. 09/12/01: Apparently US Investors might be able to invest, with some tax and commission difficulty, by looking into the "investment trust" way of buying shares rather than the mutual fund way of buying. This question was researched by


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