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Here's Why Plug Power Stock Popped Today

What happened

Fuel-cell stock Plug Power (NASDAQ:PLUG) opened Tuesday on a positive note, gaining 2.8% within the first 20 minutes of trading. Despite slipping into negative territory soon after, the hydrogen fuel stock bounced back and was up 2.3% as of 3:30 p.m. EDT.

It appears investors in Plug Power couldn’t easily decide what to make of the big news coming in from the red-hot hydrogen fuel market today.

So what

On Sept. 7, South Korea’s largest automaker Hyundai Motor Group (OTC:HYMTF) announced ambitious hydrogen plans at the self-hosted Hydrogen Wave global virtual forum.

Under its “Hydrogen Vision 2040,” Hyundai Motor said it plans to electrify all commercial vehicles by 2028 using hydrogen fuel-cell systems. The company wants to become the world’s first automaker to fully convert its commercial fleet in a bid to reduce global dependency on fossil fuels.

Hyundai isn’t new to the hydrogen fuel-cell game, having built its first fuel-cell electric vehicle in 1998. It went on to launch several fuel-cell cars and buses, including the Tucson ix35 in 2007, fuel-cell SUV NEXO in 2018, and XCIENT fuel-cell truck in 2020.

A person using a mobile phone while waiting to charge electric car.

Image source: Getty Images.

Hyundai now doesn’t just want to expand its fuel-cell technology throughout its commercial fleet but also extend hydrogen’s use beyond transportation, including potential trailer drones and a fuel-cell supercar. It plans to develop a third-generation fuel-cell system with durability 50%-100% higher than its second-generation fuel-cell stack at half the cost.

Hyundai’s grand vision is undeniably a huge stamp of approval for the hydrogen fuel-cell industry, which explains why Plug Power shares are rallying today. Plug Power is one of the top players in hydrogen and fuel cells.

To further stoke the EV optimism, Toyota Motors (NYSE:TM) too announced plans on Sept. 7 to launch a full lineup of EVs, targeting annual sales of nearly 6 million hybrid EVs and 2 million battery-powered and fuel-cell EVs combined by 2030. For perspective, Toyota has sold a total of 18.1 million hybrid EVs so far.

Now what

There’s another school of thought, however, that believes Hyundai’s aggressive hydrogen efforts, which include plans to build advanced, low-cost fuel-cell systems, could encourage similar moves from other automakers and pose a potentially big threat for pure-play fuel-cell makers like Plug Power.

That fear, alongside Plug Power’s struggle to turn a profit, is why Plug Power shares oscillated between green and red territories today. But bulls eventually won the tug of war, as they believe in the company’s growing sales numbers and see huge potential in the fuel-cell market.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the official recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. Were motley! Questioning an investing thesis — even one of our own — helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.

European Auto Sales Rise 10% in April; Ford Adds to Share

The European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) reported Thursday that new vehicle registrations in the European Union (EU) jumped 9.6% in April compared with new registrations in April of 2017. New registrations for the month totaled 1.31 million units.

New registrations dropped by 5.3% year over year in March after rising 4.3% in February and 7.1% in January. For the first four months of the year, sales are up 2.7%.

Of the Detroit Three, Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) sold 86,252 units in April, up 14% year over year for the month. The company’s April market share rang in at 6.6%, up 0.2 percentage points compared with last year.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (NYSE: FCAU) saw its market share in the EU dip from 7.4% in April 2017 to 6.8% this year. Unit sales totaled 89,461, up 2% year over year. Sales of the Fiat brand dropped 4.7%, while Jeep sales jumped 74.8%.

General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) has left the EU market and had sales of just 49 units in April. Last year, before the company sold its European subsidiary to PSA, GM sold nearly 70,000 units in the month.

The top-selling maker in the EU is Volkswagen, which sold 335,518 vehicles in April, up 13.8% year over year for the month. VW’s market share for the month totaled 25.7%, up from 24.7% in April 2017.

PSA Group, makers of Peugeot and Citroen among other brands, posted an April sales increase of 70% to 212,534 units. The company’s market share rose from 10.5% to 16.3%. The increase includes sales in the Opel/Vauxhall group the company acquired from GM last year. PSA sold 71,446 Opel/Vauxhall units in April.

Renault Group posted a volume increase of 9.7% to 140,562 units in April, while its year-over-year share was unchanged at 10.8% in the month.

BMW Group’s market share dipped in April from 6.4% a year ago to 5.8%. The company sold 75,181 units last month, down 1.4% compared with year-ago April sales of 76,274.

Daimler posted a market share decline as well, dropping from 6.5% in April 2017 to 6.3% last month with sales totaling 82,288 units. On a volume basis, sales rose 6.5%.

Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE: TM) posted a market share of 4.7% in April, up from 4.3% a year ago. Sales volume jumped by 21.2% to 61,832 units.

For the month of April, Germany was the volume leader with more than 314,000 units sold (up 8.0% year over year for the month), followed by France with sales of more than 187,000 (also up 8.0%), Italy with over 171,000 sales (up 6.5%), and the United Kingdom, up by nearly 168,000 vehicles sold (up 10.4%).

EU sales totaled 15.14 million units in 2017, compared with 2016 sales for the 27 EU members of 14.64 million, up 3.4% compared with 2016 unit sales.

ALSO READ: 25 Richest Countries in the World

European Auto Sales Rise 10% in April; Ford Adds to Share

The European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) reported Thursday that new vehicle registrations in the European Union (EU) jumped 9.6% in April compared with new registrations in April of 2017. New registrations for the month totaled 1.31 million units.

New registrations dropped by 5.3% year over year in March after rising 4.3% in February and 7.1% in January. For the first four months of the year, sales are up 2.7%.

Of the Detroit Three, Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) sold 86,252 units in April, up 14% year over year for the month. The company’s April market share rang in at 6.6%, up 0.2 percentage points compared with last year.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (NYSE: FCAU) saw its market share in the EU dip from 7.4% in April 2017 to 6.8% this year. Unit sales totaled 89,461, up 2% year over year. Sales of the Fiat brand dropped 4.7%, while Jeep sales jumped 74.8%.

General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) has left the EU market and had sales of just 49 units in April. Last year, before the company sold its European subsidiary to PSA, GM sold nearly 70,000 units in the month.

The top-selling maker in the EU is Volkswagen, which sold 335,518 vehicles in April, up 13.8% year over year for the month. VW’s market share for the month totaled 25.7%, up from 24.7% in April 2017.

PSA Group, makers of Peugeot and Citroen among other brands, posted an April sales increase of 70% to 212,534 units. The company’s market share rose from 10.5% to 16.3%. The increase includes sales in the Opel/Vauxhall group the company acquired from GM last year. PSA sold 71,446 Opel/Vauxhall units in April.

Renault Group posted a volume increase of 9.7% to 140,562 units in April, while its year-over-year share was unchanged at 10.8% in the month.

BMW Group’s market share dipped in April from 6.4% a year ago to 5.8%. The company sold 75,181 units last month, down 1.4% compared with year-ago April sales of 76,274.

Daimler posted a market share decline as well, dropping from 6.5% in April 2017 to 6.3% last month with sales totaling 82,288 units. On a volume basis, sales rose 6.5%.

Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE: TM) posted a market share of 4.7% in April, up from 4.3% a year ago. Sales volume jumped by 21.2% to 61,832 units.

For the month of April, Germany was the volume leader with more than 314,000 units sold (up 8.0% year over year for the month), followed by France with sales of more than 187,000 (also up 8.0%), Italy with over 171,000 sales (up 6.5%), and the United Kingdom, up by nearly 168,000 vehicles sold (up 10.4%).

EU sales totaled 15.14 million units in 2017, compared with 2016 sales for the 27 EU members of 14.64 million, up 3.4% compared with 2016 unit sales.

ALSO READ: 25 Richest Countries in the World