Special Coverage



Hyliion Showcases Electric Truck Solutions

Hypertruck ERX Powertrain Demonstrated on Texas Roads
Hyliion CEO Thomas Healy
Hyliion founder and CEO Thomas Healy discusses the properties of the Hypertruck ERX electric powertrain at the 2023 Management Conference & Exhibition in Austin, Texas, on Oct. 14. (John Sommers II for Transport Topics)

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AUSTIN, Texas — Hyliion Holdings Corp. showcased its electric powertrain technology Oct. 14 during a ride-along at American Trucking Associations’ Management Conference & Exhibition.

The Hypertruck ERX used in the demonstration has a range-extended electrified powertrain. Hyliion showed how its integrated system works during the ride-along session. The Peterbilt Model 579 sleeper used in the demonstration was driven around for about 15 minutes after leaving a staging area outside the Austin Convention Center.

Hyliion CEO Thomas Healy said, “We’ve already had numerous fleets out coming to check out the vehicle, and we have meetings and ride-and-drives planned throughout the week here.”

Healy said fleets are looking to see if the powertrain system can work for their operations. It was designed around integrated power sources to address the limitations of electric vehicle range. The truck’s natural gas engine is used essentially as a generator to charge the battery. 

Peterbilt truck with Hyllion electric powertrain

A Peterbilt Model 579 sleeper with the Hyliion Hypertruck ERX electric powertrain is seen outside the Austin Convention Center in Austin, Texas. (John Sommers II for Transport Topics)

“The truck, the chassis, all of that comes from Peterbilt. The drive system, the drivetrain, is developed by Hyliion,” Healy said. “So, very similar to most other EVs, you’ve got your battery pack, you’ve got your dual e-axles on the rear of the truck. But what makes this unique is you have the natural gas engine under the hood that’s sitting there and charging the batteries as you go.”

Healy pointed out that with a battery-electric truck, fleets have to adjust for infrastructure limitations. The natural gas engine in the Hyliion truck is designed to give fleets flexibility and options as they work to reduce emissions.

“The goal is you refuel it with natural gas, and that natural gas is what produces the electricity that charges up the battery pack. So, the battery gives you about 75 miles of EV range, but then when you have the generator under the hood, the total vehicle range is up to 1,000 miles.”

 He added, “That’s a motor that we actually use as a generator. So, the internal combustion engine is spinning, and that motor is producing electricity, and that’s what feeds the battery pack.”


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The Hypertruck ERX still has the option to recharge like a regular electric truck. The charging port is behind a panel near the passenger side door. But with that option, the system is able to qualify for some emission-reduction credits. Healy notes, though, that interest has been primarily on the natural gas aspect of the power systems. 

“If they’re operating in an area where there is charging infrastructure, and they can get access to low-cost electricity, then sure, plug it in overnight,” Healy said. “When the battery gets low, then rely on the natural gas and come back with an empty battery and plug it in overnight again. But what most fleets are saying is they want to avoid that infrastructure cost. So, they won’t set up the charging infrastructure.”