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Test drive: Hyliion Hypertruck ERX is smooth, powerful and unproven

Mar 01, 2022
Hyliion Hypertruck ERX
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TOM QUIMBY, CCJ SENIOR EDITOR

It’s not often then you get told to floor it when driving a long-haul tractor but floor it I did in Hyliion’s Hypertruck ERX near their headquarters in Cedar Park, Texas.

Things like “exciting acceleration” and “Class 8 truck” don’t normally go hand-in-hand, but that’s what Hyliion CEO and founder Thomas Healy apparently had in mind when he told me to drop the hammer in the hybrid Peterbilt 579.

The ERX (Electric Range Extender) delivered plenty of smile-inducing G’s while bobtailing in the parking lot where I gave it a spin and on the highway where Hyliion’s driver had no problems quickly finding his place in traffic.

“I love it,” Pete Johnson, a veteran truck driver turned Hyliion test driver told me when I asked him for his impressions of the truck.

Johnson said the quiet ride, quick acceleration, absence of diesel fumes and one pedal driving convinced him that the series hybrid is a winner. (A series hybrid relies on all-electric power to turn the wheels as an onboard generator periodically charges the battery.)

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