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Q&A: Hyliion CEO Talks the Hypertruck ERX, Future of Natural Gas

Jan 04, 2023
Hyliion CEO Talks the Hypertruck ERX, Future of Natural Gas
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BY JIM PARK

On a visit to Hyliion in Austin, Texas, HDT’s Equipment Editor Jim Park recorded an interview with founder and CEO Thomas Healy. Earlier in the day, Healy had accompanied Park on a test drive in the company’s Hypertruck ERX. Park had driven Hyliion’s battery-electric Hybrid 6×4 HE truck in October 2018, and was anxious to take the new truck for a drive.

There was much to discuss beyond the truck itself, including the future of natural gas as a motor fuel, the pathway to zero emissions long-haul transport, and the pros and cons of the ERX compared to the alternatives.

Healy founded the company in 2015. He’s a mechanical engineer, a racing buff, and an ambitious entrepreneur. Those attributes imbue him with an infectious enthusiasm for the work his company has taken on, but he’s pragmatic too. He’s already looking beyond the ERX’s “here, now” position, to a future powered by hydrogen.  

This conversation is an abbreviated version of the full interview. You can listen to the full interview on HDT’s podcast channel, HDT Talks Trucking, or watch an edited version of the interview on truckinginfo.com.

This interview has been lightly edited for length and clarity.

HDT: Let’s begin with a few questions about the truck. With the storage tanks and batteries on board, you’ve got the worst of both worlds here in terms of weight. How do you justify the two of them? And roughly what does that truck weigh?

Healy: We’re still locking in what will be the actual go-to-market weight of vehicle. We haven’t come out with a number yet, but to put some ballparks to it, it will be heavier than a diesel truck. Because as you mentioned, we can’t have both systems. But we’re expecting that it is going to be lighter than a conventional BEV plug-in truck because we don’t need the massive battery pack that a BEV needs to get the range. We also get the 2,000-pound government weight allotment (for natural gas trucks) which means we can actually have a gross vehicle weight of 82,000 pounds rather than 80,000. So, more to come on that. You know there is a weight penalty because of the additional components, but it’s not as bad as some of the other solutions.

Continue reading the interview.

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