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October 2, 2020 11:15 AM, EDT

Hyliion Goes Public on NYSE

Romeo Systems on Same Path
Hyliion truckHyliion’s products include a hybrid electric axle and a longhaul, fully electric powertrain, the Hypertruck Electric Range Extender (ERX). (Hyliiion)

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Hyliion Inc., a provider of electrified powertrain solutions for Class 8 commercial vehicles, announced it has completed its business combination with Tortoise Acquisition Corp., a special purpose acquisition company.

That cleared the way for the combined company to be renamed Hyliion Holdings Corp. and its common stock to be listed as HYLN on the New York Stock Exchange Oct. 2 — where it opened in the $40 range.

In related news, Romeo Systems Inc., a manufacturer of proprietary battery systems and patented technologies, announced a definitive agreement to combine with another SPAC.

Q AND A: Hyliion CEO Thomas Healy

Separately, federal attention to sourcing of the rare-earth materials necessary for batteries is increasing, as the White House emphasizes domestic production instead of sourcing from China.

In the meantime, “the completion of our merger greatly accelerates Hyliion’s growth plans and unlocks the potential value of our business,” Hyliion founder and CEO Thomas Healy said in a release. “The future of commercial trucking demands reduced carbon emissions and more sustainable transportation options.”

Hyliion’s market capitalization stood at $1.1 billion on the first day of trading. Its products include a hybrid electric axle and longhaul, fully electric powertrain, the Hypertruck Electric Range Extender (ERX).

Fleet demonstration vehicles with the ERX will ship in 2021, with volume production scheduled in 2022, the Austin, Texas-based company, founded in 2015, reported in June. The ERX — whose batteries are charged by an undersized natural gas engine — is designed for a range of 1,000 miles in between refueling with natural gas at a network of about 700 existing public stations.

Demand for its earlier hybrid electric axle is building, Healy told Transport Topics earlier this year, and its partnership with Dana Inc., a Tier 1 supplier, is expanding.

Through the business combination, Hyliion will receive approximately $560 million in proceeds to drive Hyliion’s continued development and the commercialization of its axle and the ERX.

Hyliion’s announcement comes as a recent study by Coyote Logistics found 81% of companies are more focused on sustainability now compared with three years ago, and to be successful their supply chains must play an integral role in owning sustainable initiatives across their networks.

As for Romeo, the Los Angeles-based company designs and manufactures lithium-ion battery modules and packs for medium-duty shorthaul and heavy-duty longhaul trucking markets, as well as specialty trucking and buses. Its selection by RMG came after the New York-based company evaluated about 150 companies.

The combined company will be named Romeo Power Inc. upon closing and is expected to trade on the NYSE under the ticker symbol RMO.

“We are thrilled to announce this transaction with RMG, as it allows us to further expand our business and to continue innovating and developing new products,” said Romeo CEO Lionel Selwood.

Romeo’s customer base represents “an estimated nearly 70%” of the North America Class 8 market, according to the company, and its various agreements with customers amount to over $300 million.

Meanwhile, SPACs are now getting scrutiny from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which wants to ensure investors are receiving appropriate disclosures about insiders’ pay structures, Bloomberg News reported.

In an interview with Bloomberg, Healy said, “We saw a lot of efficiencies with SPACs. You’re really negotiating a deal with an organization as opposed to going on a roadshow for an IPO that may — or may not — be successful.”

At the same time, President Donald Trump Sept. 30 signed an executive order aimed at expanding domestic production of rare-earth minerals that are vital to many critical manufacturing sectors, in an effort to reduce dependence on China, Bloomberg reported.

 

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Hyliion’s products include a hybrid electric axle and a longhaul, fully electric powertrain, the Hypertruck Electric Range Extender (ERX).

The order, which declares a national emergency in the mining industry, directs the Interior Department to explore using the Defense Production Act to hasten the development of mines. The administration has previously used the law to accelerate production of medical supplies during the coronavirus pandemic.

Critical minerals have been a focus in the U.S. as China accounted for 80% of total U.S. imports of rare-earth compounds and metals last year.