Ballard Power shares climb on Ford heavy truck deal

Shares of Ballard Power Systems (BLDP.TO)(BLDP) climbed in early trading on Thursday after the Vancouver-based fuel cell-maker announced a deal with Ford’s (F) heavy commercial truck brand.

Ballard says it plans to supply Ford Trucks with a fuel cell system to develop a hydrogen fuel cell powered vehicle prototype. The company says its partnership with Ford includes the initial purchase of two 120 kW fuel cell engines to be delivered later this year. Financial terms of the agreement were not made public.

Toronto-listed Ballard shares climbed 9.73 per cent to $6.54 at 10:49 a.m. ET.

“Ford Trucks is an important ‘platform’ win for Ballard and a key partner for our high growth potential truck vertical,” Ballard’s chief commercial officer David Mucciacciaro stated in a news release.

“This long-term relationship will generate enormous value in the future,” Ford Trucks’ vice president Emrah Duman added. “We have a wide range of promising technological talents and capabilities, and our work is progressing quickly and successfully.”

Ballard sells hydrogen fuel cell solutions for buses, commercial trucks, trains, marine vessels, and stationary power. The company is sharpening its focus on the North American and European markets after CEO Randy MacEwen warned of the rising risk of “geopolitical collapse” in China, where Ballard has delayed plans to build a $130 million MEA (membrane electrode assembly) plant at the Jiading Hydrogen Port, one of China’s leading automotive industry clusters.”.

Ballard’s deal with Ford comes on the heels of an agreement announced last month to supply global carbon reduction company First Mode with 60 hydrogen fuel cell modules in 2024. Those cells will power hybrid hydrogen and battery mining haul trucks.

Ballard is also expanding its hydrogen locomotive program with Canadian Pacific Kansas City (CPKC) (CP.TO). Over the past two years, Ballard has supplied CPKC with 20 fuel cell engines for use in three types of locomotives, with combined fuel cell power of 4MW.