Hyliion Acquires GE’s KARNO Fuel Independent Generator Technology for Extended Range Electric Truck

Hyliion, a developer of electrified powertrain solutions for Class 8 commercial vehicles (previous article), has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire a new fuel independent generator (KARNO) from GE Additive for its extended range series hybrid powertrain . The Hyliion KARNO solution offers a next generation powertrain option between the CNG/RNG powered generator used in the Hypertruck ERX and the future Hypertruck Fuel Cell.

The KARNO generator was born out of GE’s longstanding R&D investments in metal additive manufacturing across multiple industries and in areas such as generator thermal and performance design. Initial testing indicates that the KARNO generator should comply with all current and foreseeable emissions standards, particularly those of CARB and EPA, even when using conventional fuels.

The technology is expected to deliver an efficiency improvement of more than 20% over current conventional generators and could be more efficient than most fuel cells available. These efficiency improvements should, in turn, reduce fuel costs and improve vehicle range. The technology is also expected to provide significant reductions in noise, vibration, moving parts and maintenance compared to current combustion engines.

The KARNO fuel system will be able to run on more than 20 different fuels, including hydrogen, natural gas, propane, ammonia and conventional fuels. The technology uses heat to drive a sealed linear generator to generate electricity. Heat is produced by reacting fuels through flameless oxidation or other heat sources, including renewable energy.

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Hyliion will leverage the KARNO as the next-generation generator onboard the Hypertruck, creating a solution that will run on a variety of fuel sources available today, while remaining future-proof to run on hydrogen when it will become widely available.

—Thomas Healy, Founder and CEO of Hyliion

At the end of 2023, Hyliion plans to launch the Hypertruck ERX powertrain for the first time, which uses a natural gas engine as an onboard generator. In the coming years, Hyliion plans to launch the Hypertruck KARNO, its fuel-independent variant, as phase two of Hyliion’s journey to a hydrogen-based future. Hyliion will also explore other adjacent markets to leverage this technology to reduce costs and emissions.

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The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close by the end of the third quarter of 2022. With an acquisition value of approximately $37 million, GE will receive $15 million in cash and approximately $22 million in dollars in Hyliion shares. Hyliion will acquire the generator technology and integrate the Cincinnati-based engineering team that created the KARNO system into Hyliion.

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