When my husband’s laptop died over the weekend, we prayed that it was the battery that was broken — not the motherboard that would cost as much as a new computer.
It was the battery, which ended up being a relatively cheap fix.
But it made me think about batteries and their importance in my life.
I can’t say it’s usually something that I think about. After all, batteries are relatively boring to the average consumer.
But they’re actually vital to our world.
What powers our iPhones and laptops?
What about medical equipment and military tools like night vision and communication devices?
Longed for the ever-flashy Tesla?
It runs on batteries.
Batteries are the foundation for nearly everything they're in, which is why they’re so often a hot-button topic within the investing world.
Innovators are constantly trying to create a longer lasting, more efficient, and cheaper battery.
Tesla is building a huge factory — the Gigafactory 1 — to create the lithium-ion batteries that power the company's cars.
Elon Musk thinks that lithium is the only way to go as far as batteries are concerned. But one man, whom many consider to be the “father” of rechargeable batteries, has found a lithium-free way to create batteries that have much longer lifespans than traditional batteries.
The market is estimated to jump to being a $120 billion industry by 2019.
All this to say that batteries are a big deal and investing in them is worth your time. The question is: What kind of battery should you invest in?
Sure, everyone goes for lithium batteries but is there a better way?
We think so.
We’ve actually found a corner of the battery market that we think could become even bigger than lithium batteries.
Hydrogen fuel cells are a type of battery source that automobile companies are betting on for cars and for other transportation vehicles.
Global Market Insights estimates that the hydrogen cell industry could be worth $25.5 billion by 2024.
Hydrogen batteries use a much cleaner form of energy, even though they’re not as efficient as lithium-ion batteries.
The Honda Clarity fuel cell electric gets 366 miles on a single fill, according to Honda. Fuel cells may be especially useful in certain applications. Any vehicle on a tightly managed circuit, such as a delivery truck, city bus, or other similar vehicle, would work quite well with hydrogen.
Meanwhile, Tesla’s cars can only go 335 miles on a charge, and then they have to sit for 30 minutes to recharge.
I don’t know about you, but I’ll always pick a car that can go 366 miles and has to stop for a 5-minute tank refill rather than one where I’ll have to wait for six times longer.
Many car companies are moving to produce cars with cleaner energy, and they believe that hydrogen could be the way to go.
Huffington Post writes:
Thirteen car and energy industry giants are teaming up to push hydrogen as the world's next major fuel source.
Honda, Hyundai, Royal Dutch Shell, BMW Group and Toyota are among the companies that have formed the "Hydrogen Council." Members of the council will make significant investments in hydrogen as an attempt to transition from fossil fuels to a cleaner form of energy, to the tune of a combined €1.4 billion per year.
General Motors and Honda are putting $85 million toward the production of hydrogen cells within their respective businesses.
Amazon is even on board with the hydrogen train and just invested in a company that makes hydrogen batteries for forklifts.
It’s not only the U.S. that’s interested in hydrogen power.
[Japan is] investing $350 million in improving hydrogen refueling infrastructure. It is part of a larger plan to create a "hydrogen society."
Hydrogen batteries might not be as flashy as lithium-ion batteries, and they might not be in the news as often, but with the will of the automobile industry, hydrogen is here to stay.
Normally we’d recommend a few different stocks that you can invest in. But today, we have just one stock for you.
We’re confident in it — really confident because we’re not the only ones who like it. As we mentioned above, Amazon (you remember Amazon: The behemoth that just hit $1,000 per share?) just bought a stake in it with the rights to buy nearly a quarter of the company.
So, without further ado, let me introduce it to you...
Plug Power Inc. (NASDAQ: PLUG)
Plug Power is an energy provider that works in designing, developing, and manufacturing hydrogen fuel cells. While Plug Power’s first-quarter report was a disappointment (down $0.13 per share), we have reason to believe that the company is going to jump soon.
As we mentioned above, Amazon bought $70 million worth of Plug Power shares (with the right to buy 23% in total), and the shares received a nice bump from this, doubling at one point after the news hit.
Amazon wants to use hydrogen cells for the forklifts in its warehouses, so its investment in Plug Power is a smart move.
If Amazon has its hands on Plug Power, you can bet that it's heading toward success. And with the automobile industry’s recent push into hydrogen cells, we can expect to see the company's profits grow over the next several months.