Hyliion acquires GE’s hydrogen and fuel agnostic generator technology


Hyliion Holdings has signed a definitive agreement to acquire a new hydrogen and fuel agnostic capable generator (KARNO) from GE Additive, a division of GE and a global leader in metal additive technologies and manufacturing.

“Solving climate change, whether through adopting electric vehicles or reducing emissions from manufacturing sites, requires clean, efficient and dependable electricity. 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,” said Thomas Healy, Founder and CEO of Hyliion.

GE’s extensive R&D efforts in metal additive manufacturing across several industries and in areas such as generator thermal and performance design led to the development of the KARNO generator. Initial testing suggests that the KARNO generator should be compliant with all current and foreseeable emissions requirements, including those of the CARB and the EPA, even when using conventional fuels.

The technology is anticipated to produce an efficiency improvement of 20% or more over existing conventional generators and may be more efficient than the majority of currently available fuel cells. These efficiency enhancements should result in reduced fuel costs and increased vehicle range. In comparison to modern combustion engines, the technology should also significantly reduce noise, vibration, moving parts, and maintenance costs.

Over 20 distinct fuels, including hydrogen, natural gas, propane, ammonia, and conventional fuels, will be compatible with the KARNO power system. The method drives a sealed linear generator with heat to generate energy. The heat is generated by reacting fuels via flameless oxidation or other heat sources, such as renewables.

Late in 2023, Hyliion intends to debut the Hypertruck ERX powertrain, which utilizes a natural gas engine as the onboard generator. In the years that follow, Hyliion hopes to deploy the fuel-independent Hypertruck KARNO as phase two of its journey to a hydrogen-based future. Hyliion will also investigate other adjacent areas in which this technology can be utilized to reduce costs and emissions.

The deal is subject to standard closing conditions and is anticipated to conclude by the end of the third quarter of 2022. GE will get $15 million in cash and about $22 million in Hyliion stock in exchange for a purchase price of approximately $37 million. Hyliion will buy the generator technology and include the engineering team from Cincinnati that developed the KARNO system.

Nedim Husomanovic

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