General Electric enters the hot electric vehicle market
The market for electric vehicles has been one of the most popular in the automotive sector for several years.
And it continues to gain more and more importance with tough competition. Legacy automakers, startups and the disruptor Tesla (TSLA) compete in the sedan, SUV/crossover, and pickup/truck segments.
In the van/truck segment, for example, we have a huge range of models. Ford (F) already markets the F-150 Lightning, the electric version of its iconic F-150.
Rivian (SHORE) has the R1T pickup, a vehicle packed with technology. GM (GM) already markets the electric version of its iconic Hummer vehicle and is preparing to launch the electric version of the Chevrolet Silverado. As for Tesla, the long-awaited Cybertruck is expected in 2023. The futuristic design of this pick-up/truck is supposed to be a complete game-changer in this segment.
The sedan and SUV/crossover segment needs no introduction as the choice for consumers is so wide and this will continue. Automakers regularly announce new models, but the question is when will they build truly affordable models for everyone.
GE takes a 3% stake in Hyliion
The truck/van/heavy-duty segment is still a little behind compared to the two we have just mentioned. Already, there are not many players. Among the known names, we obviously find Rivian, GM via BrightDrop and Ford. There is of course Nikola Corporation (NKLA) , (GOV) and Tesla, which has promised to deliver the first copies of its long-awaited Tesla Semi truck by the end of the year.
We will now have to mention one of the best known names in American industry: General Electric (GE) . The former conglomerate in full transformation has just entered the capital of Hyliion Holdings Corp (HYLN) specialized in the electrification of heavy-duty engines.
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“Hyliion Acquires Revolutionary Independent Fuel and Hydrogen Generator Technology From GE,” Hyliion tweeted recently.
According to the press release, Hyliion will integrate a new generator (“Karno”) from GE Additive, a subsidiary of GE, on board trucks that can be powered by various fuels, including hydrogen.
GE has developed an agnostic generator that can accept more than 20 types of fuel, including hydrogen (but also natural gas, or even ammonia). The generator will be integrated into the Hypertruck platform (a first version of which will be released next year).
GE brings the power of name
“Solving climate change, whether by adopting electric vehicles or reducing emissions from manufacturing sites, requires clean, efficient and reliable electricity,” said Thomas Healy, Founder and CEO of Hyliion. “Hyliion will leverage the Karno as the next-generation generator onboard the Hypertruck, creating a solution that will run on a variety of fuel sources available today, while remaining future-proof to run on hydrogen. when it becomes widely available.”
Karno technology improves efficiency by 20% compared to a conventional generator, Hyliion claimed. It would even be more efficient than certain batteries for delivering electricity from renewable energies.
Cedar Park, Texas-based Hyliion is paying $15 million in cash for the technology acquisition and about $22 million of its own stock. Upon closing of the transaction and approval by regulators, GE will own an approximate 3% stake in the electric trucking startup.
This transaction is a good deal for Hyliion which is trying to convince investors that it will survive. Since its IPO through a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), shares of the electric vehicle maker startup have fallen. The stock is down 40.5% to $36,900 since January.
The deal also comes at a time when the automotive industry is being hit by a spike in commodity prices due to disruptions to supply chains caused by the covid-19 pandemic and Russia’s war in Ukraine. These events, which unexpectedly drive up company prices, are particularly negative for startups looking to either produce their first vehicles or increase production volumes.