Hyliion Holdings Corp, an electrified powertrain solutions provider for Class 8 semi-trucks based in Austin, Texas, USA, has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the new hydrogen and fuel agnostic capable generator technology (KARNO), designed by GE Additive.
The transaction, expected to close by the end of Q3 2022, has an acquisition value of around $37 million and will see GE receive $15 million in cash and approximately $22 million in Hyliion stock. Hyliion will acquire the generator technology and integrate the Cincinnati-based engineering team that created the KARNO system into Hyliion.
The KARNO generator was developed through GE’s long-running R&D investments in metal Additive Manufacturing across multiple industries and in areas such as generator thermal and performance design. The power system will be capable of operating on over twenty different fuels, including hydrogen, natural gas, propane, ammonia and conventional fuels.
The technology uses heat to drive a sealed linear generator to produce electricity. The heat is produced by reacting fuels through flameless oxidation or other heat sources including renewables. KARNO is expected to achieve a 20%+ efficiency improvement over today’s conventional generators and could be more efficient than most available fuel cells. These efficiency improvements should, in turn, enable fuel cost reductions and improved vehicle range.
The system is anticipated to also provide for significant reductions in noise, vibration, moving parts and maintenance as compared to current combustion engines. Initial testing indicates the KARNO generator is expected to comply with all current and foreseeable emissions standards, specifically from CARB and EPA, even when utilising conventional fuels.
“Solving climate change, whether through adopting electric vehicles or reducing emissions from manufacturing sites, requires clean, efficient and dependable electricity,” stated 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 operate on various fuel sources that are available today, while remaining future-proofed to run on hydrogen when it becomes widely accessible.”
In late 2023, Hyliion plans to first release the Hypertruck ERX powertrain, which leverages a natural gas engine as the generator onboard. In the years following, Hyliion plans to release the Hypertruck KARNO, its fuel agnostic variant, as phase two in the Hyliion journey to a hydrogen-based future. Hyliion will also explore other adjacent markets to leverage this technology for cost savings and emissions reductions.