com cleantech and climate change, podcast, looking at today’s problems and solutions for the future i’m, your host don vanzant founder of investorideas.com and hoping to share our way of making a difference in climate change. Good morning, today, i’m talking to ragu colombia, the ceo of powertap hydrogen fuel and corp powertap hydrogen capital, corp trading on the neo, is m, o v e and on the otc m, o t n f through its wholly owned subsidiary, powertap hydrogen fuel and corp is Focused on installing hydrogen production and dispensing fueling infrastructure in the united states. Well, thank you for joining us today, raghu on this podcast for our listeners. Can you share and talk about your background as both an investor and an entrepreneur and some of the sectors that you’ve been involved in because it looks quite diverse and then what really led you to clean tech super? Thank you. I’Ve been an entrepreneur for over 25 years in areas of cloud computing, health care, e commerce, software and i exited my last business uh conversion point in two parts in 2019 and and uh early 2020. Just before kobit and uh, i was introduced to the power cap opportunity uh just before covid in february of of uh, 2020 and um, while i’ve had some investments in clean energy i’ve never taken an active role in the space. What i saw with the opportunity with hydrogen fueling was a large addressable market hydrogen vehicles, both cars and long haul trucks are coming to the market in the next couple of years, but there’s very few stations there’s under a hundred operational um hydrogen stations in the united States which, with thousands needed in that five plus years, so we saw a large addressable market and we were fortunate to be able to acquire a uh existing technology called powertap that was developed over the last 20 years, with significant investment from the us department of energy.
Hess, oil and renault, the automaker, among others – and this is a unique on site – hydrogen production. Most all the stations operationally in the united states currently buy industrial hydrogen truck it in on on tanker trucks and store it and store it in large facilities, fusion stations. The big challenge with this is the logistic challenges and costs of shipping, hydrogen and the large footprints that are needed for those large storage tanks. This has actually led to supply issues in the past where supply was cut off and stations ran out of hydrogen. This is a this has been a major issue in the early stages of this industry. The powertap technology is very unique because we can make hydrogen on site at each individual station that allows us to avoid those supply issues and provide hydrogen at a much lower cost than hydrogen that’s currently on the market. Right now, what we’ve done is we’ve taken the powertap 2 technology that’s already operational and are upgrading it to generate what we call blue hydrogen, which uses renewable natural gas and an advanced carbon capture system to make a very clean uh hydrogen that’s cost effective and we Believe uh, one of the more competitive solutions for the needed hydrogen infrastructure uh that will, that is necessary to build hydrogen highway, that the u.s department of energy and governments in the united states and around the world are talking about. And can you talk about your company where it is right now got fueling stations at lax airport in california, you’re in texas, massachusetts and maryland? Can you talk about those your current status and then your expansion plans, where you’re going with all of this sure, so the current stations that are out there we actually don’t own them? Those were developed previously, the powertap 2 technology that we acquired but that’s sort of the base technology that’s, the powertap generation 2.
. The station at lax, we believe, is the only on site hydrogen production in in california uh. What we’re doing is that we’re commercializing uh at the end of 2021 into 2022, the powertap three generation that’s, more advanced uh, larger production potential, which will meet the trucking market and a more advanced carbon capture system, we’re, going to be partnering with existing gas stations that Are already out there just to give a parameter: there’s a there’s over a hundred thousand gas stations and truck stops in the united states, currently uh, so there’s a good uh base of stations for us to co. Locate our small united infrastructure we’ve announced one uh partnership to date in the united states that’s with the andretti group uh led by mario michael andretti of auto racing fame. They own over 100 stations in in the western u.s um uh under under labels. Like shell 76. Texaco and – and so they will, we will be installing it their own stations, but also they know everyone within the industry given who they are, and so they’ll be playing a distribution partner for us. So our model is to launch 500 stations over the next five years or so uh co, locating at um existing gas stations and truck stops throughout the united states. And when you look at the hydrogen industry over the last 20 or plus years, you look at companies like ballard that have been around a long time and there’s been a lot of evolution in the hydrogen sector.
What do you think has changed now like? Why is it now a viable industry, and – and why has it taken so long to get here great question um, you know our our perspective is that uh, certainly the industry’s been around you’re absolutely live for over 20 years. I think the big difference from my perspective are two major factors. One is that the uh, the auto oems you know led by toyota, daimler, volvo and upstarts in the trucking space uh, like nikola motors, are launching the vehicles and so uh. You know ballard as an example. Uh was on the hydrogen fuel cell side, which is very important piece of the infrastructure, but the fuel cell uh without having vehicles is just a component within the actual vehicles. The major oems have never made an aggressive push like they have in the last year year and a half towards launching more vehicles. I think, as the clean energy industry movement globally becomes um more developed. Uh people are recognizing that uh. There are solutions that are needed. Other than battery electric vehicles, certainly, we believe in battery electric vehicles, but they don’t solve all the needs for the consumer, auto market and the industrial class aid or long haul trucking market, particularly the main advantages of hydrogen over battery electric vehicles, are in the um. The range that a hydrogen vehicle can run on a tank versus a charge it’s much more significant for hydrogen versus electric vehicles.
The time to recharge battery electric vehicles are substantial if there were, and there are no larger industrial bioelectric vehicle trucks. As an example, you take hours to recharge them, and, and and so and also the weight of the battery is so large uh, with the current technology that it’s, just not economically feasible and – and so currently, i think, as the market up uh evolves, there’s a certain Segment of the consumer market, i think uh gig workers and people have to drive around a lot uh and time is money for them for the for that segment of the consumer. Hydrogen vehicles make sense, and very particularly in the long haul trucking market, where the main competition is diesel, which is a very bad fuel in terms of carbon emissions. Hydrogen makes complete sense and that’s where we see uh the clear economic advantages of hydrogen over bioelectric vehicles. So again, we think that you know the the bev movement is going to continue to grow globally, but hydrogen is going to play a role. The other thing that’s happened is that governments around the world, not just the united states, have come out with uh hydrogen plants. Uh as a as a fuel as a clean fuel, and so i think, the combination of governments around the world uh the the overall movement towards clean energy, globally, uh and the the advantages of hydrogen over battery electric vehicles and then the old carbon emitting fuels. We think make today the right time for hydrogen and the biggest missing part of the infrastructure is the hydrogen fueling network and that’s the the area that we’re, focusing on simply on building out fueling stations and co, locating them with existing gas stations and truck stops and As an investor, have you been looking at some of the different publicly traded companies in this space? Well, our company is public right now, um, our our parent company is powertap hydrogen capital, corp uh.
It does trade in canada m, o b e in the united states m, o t n f, and so we are traded in canada. We’Re. Looking we’ve announced that we’re looking to lift on nasdaq and have made an application, and so we are. We are traded we’re, a small company we’re about a 300 million dollar market cap company, but looking to grow uh. We do know the other. Major players are out in the market: the nikola motors, the plug powers. Uh nikola is the newest large player on the market, but uh companies like plug and Music ballard and fuel cell energy fcel have been public for many many years and they’re having their day too, which is great we’re. You know we need a full ecosystem to thrive. Uh and so to an extent we’re we’re thrilled, because um there’s it’s, not a large industry uh but uh. All you know, all the players are are are believed together that uh, if the time for hydrogen is now over the next few years, you know we’ve taken some profile roles in some industry associations and so we’re getting our voice with the other players in the space And also with the state and federal governments, incentives are really uh important, just like they were for uh for tesla. As an example, we take advantage of very very substantial carbon credits, um infrastructure credits, particularly in the state of california, where we’re based. If we build a station, we can generate carbon credits, which are basically revenue, uh uh, even prior to us, uh selling, any hydrogen that’s a very, very important part of our economic model and and tesla took advantage and that helped it grow and get in the s.
P: 500, by having substantial carbon credits so that’s, a key part of the incentive, uh that’s there for for us as a hydrogen infrastructure player, and when you look at the hydrogen future versus other clean technologies. You mentioned earlier uh the electrical vehicles and the batteries there’s. A lot of controversy uh even within the cleanpak community, over what is really a clean technology because part one component might be. But then you might look at you know. Where does that go into the landfills and a lot of different a lot of different aspects? To what the real environmental impact would be for some of these technologies so uh, how do you rate hydrogen in that overall picture? Well, i you know hydrogen itself uh, the the only emission is uh is mist water, so it’s very clean um. The way we generate hydrogen is we use renewable natural gas, uh and uh. There is uh some small. There are carbon emissions when you make hydrogen uh uh under our model uh, but we have a very advanced carbon capture system um. The other main way to make uh hydrogen, which is called we call our our the industry, calls uh our solution: blue hydrogen um. There is a solution called green hydrogen uh, which used that takes uh water using a lot of electricity and that splits it into hydrogen and an oxygen h2o. The challenge uh with that method uh while it makes sense uh, is a couple of things, particularly united states.
The cost of electricity is very high, so green hydrogen is not currently economically feasible and if you look at the united states electricity grid, it is well behind other western countries in the sense of the amount of green electricities out there. Most of the electricity supply in the united states is is: is fossil fuel based and and so, if you’re, if you’re truly looking at what is green? Our view is that the input into making electricity, uh, isn’t, green, uh and and so green hydrogen, while it may make sense in 10 years or so, does not make sense today, at least in the united states. Well, thank you very much for for joining us today and talking about your company, and hopefully we can do a follow up and see what your, where your expansion plans take you and what your company is doing in the future. Thank you. So much for your time. Dawn appreciate it that’s it for today do something great for this beautiful planet, each and every day to hear more clean tech, podcasts visit the cleantech and climate change page on investor ideas. You can find it on our top template. Also, investor ideas has a lineup of other podcasts and themes, including the aii, the crypto corner, our cannabis podcast called cannabis news and stocks on the move, rated one of the top investor podcasts in the sector play by play a podcast looking at sports and esports news And exploring mining to listen to any of our podcasts visit, our podcast page on investor ideas, investor ideas, dot, com forward, slash audio and a reminder.
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