| April 5
April 5 Amazon.com Inc has acquired the
right to buy up to 23 percent of hydrogen fuel cell maker Plug
Power Inc, in a deal giving the retailer powerful
batteries that promise to speed up work in its warehouses, Plug
Power said on Wednesday.
Latham, New York-based Plug Power was valued at $319 million
as of Tuesday's market close. Amazon must spend at least $600
million over the life of its contract with Plug Power for its
warrants to fully vest.
The world's largest online retailer will equip forklifts at
11 warehouses this year with hydrogen fuel cells so they can
lift more goods before running out of juice, as well as charge
faster, Plug Power's Chief Executive Andy Marsh said in an
interview. Amazon will spend $70 million on the deal in 2017 and
likely twice that next year, he said.
"Fulfillment centers are traditionally fairly low tech,"
said Marsh, explaining that labor as well as physical space
could be freed up by moving away from batteries requiring lots
While only a tiny fraction of forklifts globally are powered
by hydrogen fuel, Wal-Mart Stores Inc already uses Plug
Power's technology in its warehouses and is a top customer,
according to Marsh.
The retailer is locked in a fight with Amazon for share of
U.S. shoppers' wallets.
(Reporting By Jeffrey Dastin in San Francisco; Editing by Randy