But just like Tesla, the founder of Hyliion can boast that he’s already got some electrified trucks on the road, as Hyliion’s first units pair a battery-electric motor with diesel or natural-gas engines.
And for the longer term, Healy makes a strong case that another system under development by Hyliion will become the industry standard. Hyliion’s Hypertruck ERX range extender swaps out a diesel engine for a bank of electric batteries which are charged via onboard generators that run on tanks of compressed natural gas. The combination gives Class 8 commercial trucks a range of maybe 1,000 miles without having to compensate for massive battery weight and cuts carbon emissions by about 25% compared with diesel, while all-electric trucks so far can provide only 100 to 200 miles of range.
Meanwhile, Tesla is pursuing an all-electric technology for heavy trucks while Nikola aims to power its batteries using hydrogen fuel cells.