Hyliion Touts Hybrid Model to Electrify Carbon-Heavy Trucking Industry on Cheddar



Texas-based Hyliion ($HYLN) hit public markets last week with a business model that CEO Thomas Healy said will speed up the trucking industry’s transition to electric. 

“Trucking is all about moving goods from point A to point B and doing it as economically as possible,” Healy told Cheddar. “What we’re able to do is take both the emission savings and the cost savings and bring those together and offer a solution that’s actually net carbon-negative emissions.”

Unlike competitors Nikola and Tesla, Hyliion is not offering a full-electric option. The company’s hybrid trucks use natural gas to power electric powertrains. Healy said the advantage is that Hyliion can ramp up production faster and beat the economics of diesel. 

“By leveraging natural gas and, more specifically, renewable natural gas, we actually have a much lower cost than a normal diesel truck,” he said. “When you get into those sorts of economics, then fleets are actually buying based off of the cost-savings plus the emissions, as opposed to just the emissions and then needing government subsidies in order to be able to afford the vehicles.”  

Hyliion went public through a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC). Competing electric truck startup Nikola, which has taken a beating in recent weeks following a report accusing the company of massive fraud, took a similar route to public markets earlier this year. Healy, however, has stressed the difference between Hyliion and its competitors.

“This transaction really allows us to fully fund our business plan and move our technology into commercialization,” he said. “We’re able to take the capital we’re bringing in from this transaction and move into volume production and continue to deploy more of our units out on the road.”

The deal made the 28-year-old Healy the youngest CEO of a publicly traded company. 

The stock started trading just above $40 per share and slid to $37 per share over the weekend. 

So far, Healy said, the pandemic hasn’t hampered the market’s long-term prospects. 

“All of our goods are still moving,” he said. “Trucking hasn’t stopped, even through this pandemic.”

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