Shares of companies that make fuel cells shot up Tuesday in anticipation of a policy speech in which the U.S. government is expected promote hydrogen as an alternative energy source for automakers.

Ballard Power

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gained $4.26, or 14%, to $34.96, while

Plug Power

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was up $3.20, or 37%, to $12.04.

Fuelcell Energy

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added $3.91, or 22%, to $21.85.

All three companies sell proton exchange membrane fuel cells, which convert hydrogen into energy with little or no waste residue. Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham is expected to announce a program with the heads of the Big Three automakers in which the government will back a hydrogen-based infrastructure for fuel efficiency.

The program will replace an existing initiative that had tried to compel automakers to produce a sedan that got 80 miles per gallon.