LATHAM — Plug Power this week announced the launch of its new 30-kilowatt hydrogen fuel cell engine, which it expects to start shipping in July.
The higher capacity of the new ProGen engine will allow it to be used in on-road applications; the first customers will be in Europe and Asia, and are expected to use it for that purpose, particularly in delivery vans and light- to medium-duty cargo box trucks.
The new 30kW engine is modular, designed to allow easier conversion of fleets to eco-friendly fuel cell technology. Fuel cells use bottled hydrogen and atmospheric oxygen to create electricity, with water as the only emission.
Earlier Plug Power fuel cell devices have been used for smaller material-handling machinery used in contained off-road environments such as forklifts. The company so far has delivered more than 25,000 fuel cells that have powered more than 180 million hours of fleet operation.
Thursday’s ProGen announcement follows news earlier this month that Plug Power for the first time ever ended a fiscal quarter in the black by one important metric. While the company reported a fourth-quarter net loss under Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, its adjusted Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization was positive.
EBITDA in the fourth quarter of 2018 was $500,000, compared with negative $7.6 million a year earlier. GAAP net loss in the fourth quarter of 2018 was $16.9 million, compared with $19.5 million a year earlier.
The company credited improved sales, market penetration, service and cost management for the results. Fourth-quarter revenue was 75 percent higher in 2018 than 2017 and billings were 89 percent higher.