Aussie Hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) manufacturer H2X Global has bold plans as one of only a select few companies invited to share their innovations at the COP26 Climate Conference in Glasgow.
It’s the story of the little Aussie battler, which is developing the same revolutionary technology as Tesla rival Rivian – the company that made a brilliant US$120 billion debut on the NASDAQ on November 10.
In a sector dominated by Tesla, H2X is positioned well to match the performance of Rivian, which is now worth more than General Motors or Ford.
Founder and CEO Brendan Norman was one of a select few company leaders invited to share their innovations at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow.
H2X Vice President Corporate and Government Tony Blackie told Stockhead to have Norman attend COP26 was a significant endorsement.
“It shows there’s a great deal of interest in what we are doing and also shows the emergence of the hydrogen economy as the future of energy globally,” he said.
Blackie said H2X was developing the same technology as Rivian, with its FCEVs and other products also in its lineup attracting strong interest.
“We have a wide range of products which includes a hydrogen-based fuel cell generator used for emergency power and on worksites to power equipment which is attracting a lot of interest,” he said.
“Our Warrego ute is in the production phase and has attracted a huge amount of interest and has been very well accepted.”
More than $50m in order-interests in the Warrego, which is expected to be launched and on sale in the first half of 2022, have been received from Australia and overseas including the Netherlands, Germany and Malaysia.
The Warrego features a 750km driving range courtesy of the company’s Hydrogen Fuel Cell Hybrid technology.
“Like every business in Australia we are still suffering supply chain problems due to the ongoing pandemic, but it will happen, and we are hoping to make an announcement on the launch soon,” he said.
Reviving Australia’s vehicle manufacturing capabilities
In October 2017, Australia saw the closure of its last vehicle manufacturing plant. After more than 100 years the last Holden rolled off production lines.
Before Holden, Ford, Toyota, and Mitsubishi had also stopped producing vehicles in Australia. Thousands of workers were left without a job as the industry was considered no longer economically sustainable.
But H2X is hopeful of rebuilding a new golden era of vehicle manufacturing in Australia.
Under an agreement with the Gippsland Circular Economy Precinct (GCEP), H2X will manufacture its hydrogen fuel cells, electrolysers, hydrogen fuel cell powered vehicles and a range of hydrogen power units including generators and emergency power supplies in the region.
GCEP is a consortium of Gippsland-based businesses who recognised the need to transition their traditional local economy from brown coal power generation to renewables.
“It’s a wonderful thing to regenerate the Australian motor vehicle industry because we have so many people with great skills and we have been able to identify a lot of those people who are coming to help us,” he said.
“To get the industry back up and running would be a truly great outcome.”
H2X’s enters key Malaysian deal as Pure Hydrogen acquires 24% stake
Adding to H2X’s international profile, the company has entered a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Malaysia’s Sarawak State Government’s Economic Development Corporation (SEDC).
The MOU enables the formation of a joint venture which H2X, including immediate assembly of vehicles including its Warrego ute, as well as city buses and H2X hydrogen powered generators.
The project will be supported by an established hydrogen distribution network within Sarawak.
Acknowledging H2X as a global pacesetter in fuel cell technology, Pure Hydrogen (ASX:PH2) acquired a 24% stake in H2X earlier this month, with options to go to 48% ownership.
PH2’s shares spiked approximately 170% on the news, which included the announcement that the company would become the preferred supplier of hydrogen to H2X.
PH2 Managing Director Scott Brown told Stockhead the two clean energy companies align well with each other.
“We have three facets to our business,” Brown said.
“A technology angle; operations centred around production, storage, and delivery; and the third focus is transport ,” he said.
“We’ve always thought the first use for hydrogen will really be with transport and that’s why we are so interested in what H2X are doing, particularly with heavy vehicles.”
H2X and PH2 have established a joint venture (JV) company Pure X Mobility. The JV will develop and sell hydrogen fuel cell trucks and buses, including waste disposal trucks and concrete agitators.
Brown said he was not surprised to see the strong demand and interest for H2X vehicles, and the world was on the cusp of a “revolution” with an impending end of diesel powered vehicles.
“Hydrogen vehicles are more expensive than traditional diesel vehicles, but people are often happy to pay extra to be an early adopter and that’s what we are seeing,” he said.
“The vehicles are all dependent on converting hydrogen through fuel cells to electricity and as the price of those cells come down the vehicles will become cheaper.”
“When the motor vehicle first came out it was a revolution, and this another revolution where you’re going to get rid of all the diesel vehicles in the world and replace them with hydrogen,” Brown said.