Hyliion Exiting Class 8 Electric Powertrains to Embrace Karno Generator

Hyliion Holdings Corp. makes a strategic move, exiting the Class 8 electric powertrain business to concentrate on the fuel-agnostic Karno stationary generator.

Hyliion Exiting Class 8 Electric Powertrains to Embrace Karno Generator
Image Source: Hyliion

Hyliion Holdings Corp. has decided to leave the Class 8 electric powertrain business. The Austin-based manufacturer made this announcement on November 8, just weeks after commencing a strategic review of its options for the unit.

Background on Hyliion

Founder and CEO, Thomas Healy. Image Source: Hyliion
  • The company was founded in 2015 by Thomas Healy, the current CEO.
  • Hyliion designs, develops, and sells electrified powertrain solutions for installation on most major Class 8 semi-trucks.
  • The name Hyliion is a smash-up of Hybrid + Lithium + Ion. Lithium-ion batteries are used in hybrid vehicles for their high capacity and fuel efficiency.
  • FreightWaves' What the Truck show reported on Hyliion's pause on its Hypertruck ERX last month. They've frequently featured the company's progress on the show.

Shifting Focus to Karno Generator

Image Source: Hyliion

Instead of continuing in the Class 8 electric powertrain game, Hyliion has its sights set on the more cost-effective commercialization of its fuel-agnostic Karno stationary generator. The company intends to keep its powertrain technology, which earned California Air Resources Board certification in September.

The Final Countdown

Hyliion plans to wind down its powertrain business by the end of the first quarter of 2024. Unfortunately, this decision will result in 175 staff members losing their jobs, constituting 67% of the company's workforce.

What's in the Rearview Mirror?

Hyliion's Class 8 product offerings included the electric powertrain, featured in the Peterbilt Model 579 sleeper cab known as the Hypertruck ERX, and a retrofit Class 8 electric hybrid powertrain. The company had also hinted at sleeper trucks based on Karno generator technology and a fuel cell electric vehicle collaboration with Hyzon Motors.

Why the Change?

Several factors prompted this strategic shift, including slower-than-expected industry adoption of electrified commercial vehicles, rising component costs, evolving regulatory demands, and uncertainty about securing additional capital for future investments.

CEO's Perspective

Thomas Healy, Hyliion's founder and CEO, expressed the difficulty of the decision but deemed it necessary for the company's financial stability. He emphasized that focusing on Karno aligns with the growing demand for electricity and offers a more capital-efficient path to the market.

Future Plans

Hyliion is planning to establish a research and development and low-volume production facility near Cincinnati. The company anticipates revenue-generating deployments of the Karno generator to start in late 2024 and is in discussions with inaugural customers.

Market Reaction

The market has reacted to Hyliion's strategic moves, with its share price experiencing declines. On November 9, the share price closed at 54 cents, down 8.27%. Additionally, Hyliion received notice from the New York Stock Exchange that its stock was at risk of delisting due to trading below $1 for 30 consecutive days.

Commentary from users on financial losses on Hyliion's Instagram page.

Source: Transport Topics

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