Hyliion, a leader in the development of next generation electric powertrains, announced a deal with General Electric Additive (a part of GE’s metal additive division) to acquire its KARNO hydrogen and fuel agnostic generator. The $37 million agreement was announced August 25 on the Hyliion website.
GE will receive $15 million in cash and approximately $22 million in Hyliion stock for the generator technology. Hyliion will integrate the Cincinnati-based engineering team that created the KARNO system into the company.
A generator capable of using 20 fuel sources is a game changer
Hyliion’s purchase of the KARNO technology will future-proof the Class 8 powertrain manufacturer no matter what fuel source becomes king in the post-petroleum world. KARNO is capable of using multiple fuel types – hydrogen, ammonia, natural gas, propane, dimethyl ether and conventional fuels like gasoline, diesel and jet fuel.
The technology uses heat to drive a sealed linear generator to produce electricity. The heat is produced by reacting fuels through flameless oxidation or other heat sources including renewables.
Hyliion plans to release its HyperTruck ERX in late 2023 with a natural gas-powered generator to provide the electricity. It will be using KARNO as a Phase 2 power source in future designs.
The technology is expected to achieve a 20%+ efficiency improvement over today’s conventional generators and could be more efficient than most available fuel cells. These efficiency improvements should, in turn, enable fuel cost reductions and improved vehicle range.
Getting more bang for your buck with no oil
The technology should also provide for significant reductions in noise, vibration, moving parts and maintenance when compared to current combustion engines. The KARNO generator does not use oils or other fluids, so not having to worry about leaks and faulty gaskets will be a boon in a world where parts shortages are becoming more common.
KARNOS boasts a nearly 20% increase in fuel thermal efficiency and 8% fuel-to-wheel efficiency, meaning you get more bang out of the fuel than from current internal combustion engines.
The Hyliion/KARNO team will work out of the GE Additive’s Ohio facility during the transition period. This gives Hyliion an experienced aerospace and additives team with intellectual properties and next-gen 3D printing technologies for further prototyping.
The best thing is that KARNO, in initial testing, appears to be compliant with “any foreseeable” CARB and EPA regulations. California is the battlefield where internal combustion engines will be slain, with passenger cars facing a 2035 ban on internal combustion engines.
This is a developing story and will be watching for more information to be released. A webcast from Hyliion will be available at noon, August 25 by following the link. A conference call will be held as well; the call-in information is available by following the link.