Monday, December 9, 2019

There's A Reason Bezos Went With Hydrogen Fuel Cell Forklifts Rather than Batteries (AMZN)

In some applications the fuel cells offer competitive advantages.
And the list of applications seems to be growing.
From OilPrice:

Tesla’s Largest Competitor Is Hidden In Plain Sight
The Tesla Cybertruck is getting the enthusiasm CEO Elon Musk had hoped for, bragging that 200,000 pre-orders have already been placed for the futuristic electric pickup launched Thursday night. But he's yet to respond to Nikola Motors CEO Trevor Milton's offer to share his company's even cooler fuel cell pickup design to reach a "broader market."

Nikola Motors is at the center of a surge in support for hydrogen and fuel cell vehicles that had been missing. Musk for years has dismissed and ridiculed hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, but the truck segment is grabbing hold of it — along with cleantech and green power advocates — who had previously always chosen electric vehicles over fuel cell. Consulting firm Cleantech Group calls it a new path to “decarbonize transportation."

Nikola, Toyota, and Hyundai are being given credit for opening up the "hydrogen highway" through what they're bringing out in hydrogen-powered commercial trucks. Daimler Trucks, Kenworth, and truck engine maker Cummins are also entering the race. Fuel cell buses are another segment gaining support.

Hydrogen vehicles offer the performance and instant torque of battery electric vehicles, while providing greater range than any pure EV on the market today — which is a big deal for a trucking fleet looking to switch over from diesel. Another advantage is that refueling times are comparable to gasoline cars, another way its beating EVs — even those being juiced up through the fastest chargers. Electric pickups like Rivian’s R1T (which received a 100,000-unit order from Amazon) and what Ford and GM have in the works, will be competing with Tesla’s Cybertruck.
But for commercial trucks, hydrogen and fuel cells may be the winner; or at least the strongest competitor to diesel, gasoline, and future electric trucks.
Budweiser brewer Anheuser-Busch has started testing Nikola semi-tractor trucks in its fleet. The beer company said it plans to buy up to 800 of the hydrogen fuel cell models for its fleet of long-haul delivery vehicles. Anheuser-Busch just took the first of these tests by delivering beer from the local Anheuser-Busch brewery to the St. Louis-based Enterprise Center using only zero-emission trucks. Nikola and electric vehicle maker BYD supplied the test vehicles....MUCH MORE 
The forklifts are Plug Power, the company is too small for our tastes, and they're floating more stock, but Amazon has an option to buy a chunk of the company as well as the forklifts.
Probably not a Kiva Systems (robots) set-up but who knows.

For more on Nikola (as in Nik Tesla) we have:
October 3
ICYMI: Following CNH Industrial's $250 Mil., Bosch And Hanwha Invest $230 Million In Nikola's Hydrogen-Electric Trucks
I'm tellin' ya

It may be in fits and starts but hydrogen is coming.
May 11, 2018 
Watch Out Elon: "Anheuser-Busch just bought 800 fuel cell Nikola trucks" (TSLA; NEL:Oslo)
May 24, 2018
Watch Out Elon: Nikola Is Offering More Than Just Trucks (TSLA; NEL:Oslo)
Feb. 2019
Shipping: "UK Department of Transport recommends launch of ammonia / hydrogen powered vessels within 5-15 years" 
Ammonia, it's what everyone is talking about.
And if your crowd isn't, you'll be the best-informed next-gen energy storage/transport-medium connoisseur at the Thursday afternoon salon!

...Bosch likes the stuff so much they featured Nikola in a small section of the introduction to their 2018 Annual Report.
Bosch is very big.

And CNH, at $27 billion in revenues is not tiny but only about a third the size of Bosch.
And destined to get smaller when they split the company into on-road (Iveco) and off-road companies, a move that has attracted the attention of Dr, Evil himself, Paul Singer.
FT, last month: "Elliott invests in CNH Industrials ahead of Iveco truck split"
Mr. Singer doesn't use reptiles in his communications, although some people think he is one.

As to hydrogen more generally we have quite a few posts
Quite a few.