• Image Credit: Toyota
  • Image Credit: Toyota
  • Image Credit: Toyota
  • Image Credit: Toyota
  • Image Credit: Toyota
There is a direct relationship between Tesla stock and the price of US crude oil, according to Business Finance News. According to research, when oil prices rise, so does Tesla's stock value, though not always at the same rate. In some cases though, Tesla stock has performed well despite falling oil prices, or poorly during oil rallies. Business Finance News attributes this to "external forces" such as product launches (like the Powerwall) and strong or weak earnings on the part of the electric automaker. "Apparently," writes the article's author Jason Graul, "the relationship between the energy-innovation company and crude oil is based on basic principles of demand and supply, and substitute goods." Who would have thought? Read more at Business Finance News.

Southern California Toyota dealerships are offering increased incentives on the 2015 Prius. As the car ages and gas prices remain low, many dealers are having trouble moving the hybrid. While the car is already eligible for $500 in discounts in the region, customers can now also nab a $2,000 gas card with a 24-month lease of the Prius Liftback (the deal is not available for the Prius C, Prius V or Prius Plug-In Hybrid models). Lease discounts for the Prius Plug-In Hybrid have increased from $2,500 to $4,000, making it about $259 a month to lease. All Prius models offer a $500 loyalty bonus, and Toyota is willing to waive up to the last six months of payments for leases ending between June 2 and September 28. The next-generation Toyota Prius begins production in December, and could arrive in the US as a 2017 model. Read more at Green Car Reports.

Ballard has signed a deal to provide the hydrogen power systems for 33 buses in two Chinese cities. The supply agreements with Nantong Zehe New Energy Technology and Guangdong Synergy Hydrogen Power Technology are estimated to be worth $10 million. "We continue to see strong growth opportunities in China's mass transit market where fuel cells are increasingly being discussed as the next generation of clean propulsion," says Ballard President and CEO Randy MacEwen. "This demand is being driven by China's growing need for clean urban mass transit and air quality policies." Fuel cell and electric buses are currently eligible for a $150,000 subsidy, as China is working to promote clean energy and reduce pollution. Read more in the press release below.
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Ballard Inks $10 Million Deal to Power 33 Clean Energy Buses in China

VANCOUVER, CANADA and BEIJING, CHINA – Ballard Power Systems (NASDAQ: BLDP; TSX: BLD) today announced that it has signed definitive license and supply agreements with each of Nantong Zehe New Energy Technology Co., Ltd. ("Zehe") and Guangdong Synergy Hydrogen Power Technology Co., Ltd. ("Synergy") to provide fuel cell Power Products and Technology Solutions to support the planned deployment of an initial 33 fuel cell-powered buses in two Chinese cities. The deal has an estimated value of $10 million, the majority of which is expected to be recognized in 2015.

Ballard and Zehe are collaborating with electric bus manufacturer Jiangsu GreenWheel New Energy Electric Vehicle Co. Ltd. (www.greenwheelev.com) in the city of Rugao in Jiangsu province. Ballard and Synergy are collaborating with electric bus manufacturer Foshan Feichi Automobile Manufacturing Co. Ltd. (www.fsfeichi.com.cn) in the city of Yunfu in Guangdong province. The municipal governments in the cities of Yunfu and Rugao plan to have fuel cell bus fleets operating in revenue service in 2016.

The agreement was signed at a ceremony held today in Beijing and attended by dignitaries that included Mr. Guy Saint-Jacques, Canada's Ambassador to China. At the ceremony, Randy MacEwen, Ballard President and CEO said, "We continue to see strong growth opportunities in China's mass transit market where fuel cells are increasingly being discussed as the next generation of clean propulsion. This demand is being driven by China's growing need for clean urban mass transit and air quality policies."

In April 2015 Ballard announced an initial order from Zehe for the supply of FCvelocity®-HD7 modules to power 8 buses, which now forms part of the new deal with Zehe. All of these modules are expected to be shipped by Ballard this year. At today's ceremony, Ballard expanded its relationship with Zehe to include the supply of additional Power Products and Technology Solutions, including a non-exclusive license for local assembly of FCvelocity®-HD7 power modules for use in clean energy buses in China. In addition, Ballard will be the exclusive supplier of its proprietary fuel cell stacks for use in power modules assembled under this deal. A similar deal was signed with Synergy.

Mr. Ma Jin Hua, Member of Rugao Municipal Standing Committee of C.P.C and Vice Secretary of Party Committee of RETDZ said, "It is important that we deal with experienced, market-leading companies in order to ensure successful delivery with the most advanced technology. This is one reason that Ballard Power Systems is the right choice for a program of such importance."

Mr. Xu Guo, Member of Foshan / Yunfu Municipal Standing Committee of C.P.C and Vice Mayor of Foshan / Yunfu City added, "We are very pleased to be moving forward with this key initiative, in support of our government's new energy program. Zero-emission fuel cell modules will form a critical element in our future bus deployments, contributing to a cleaner environment for Chinese citizens."

The size and rapid growth of China's economy has resulted in considerably larger carbon dioxide emissions than other nations. In 2013, for example, China's carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels accounted for 29% of the global total, compared to 15% from the United States. As a result of air quality issues, a new energy program was launched in 2011, involving 48 Chinese cities with an objective of expanding public transit while also reducing the number of vehicles in cities. One of the program's specific goals is to deploy more than 1,000 clean energy buses in each of the participating cities, taking advantage of Government subsidies to facilitate this expansion.

In support of China's new energy program, fuel cell buses and electric buses are eligible for a subsidy of approximately USD$150,000, through 2017. In addition, hydrogen fueling stations are eligible for a further subsidy of approximately USD$650,000.

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