Hybrids & Electrics

Why Hyliion, Not Tesla, Is the EV to Watch

So many automotive headlines talk about Tesla’s innovations and electric vehicle advancements. Tesla is changing not only what we drive but also how we buy. And some observers say there isn’t a brighter mind out there today than Elon Musk. But Tesla’s groundbreaking technology in the auto industry is inspiring others to jump in. Some say one company might be worthier of your attention than Tesla. If you haven’t yet heard of Hyliion, you will soon. 

Hyliion makes a big splash in innovation

Forbes included Thomas Healy, the startup master behind Hyliion, on its “30 Under 30” list in 2017. Of course, back then, Healy’s “e-axle” design was still in its infancy stage of development. Fast-forward to 2020 — with the electrified-axle and lithium-ion-battery Class 8 long-haul truck leading the company’s portfolio of innovations — and Healy is on track to become a 28-year-old billionaire. Having earned attention from investors and taken the company public (HYLN) in October, Hyliion is in a prime position to do big things. Some say even bigger than the likes of Tesla.

EV hype isn’t all about batteries

Hyliion isn’t looking just to make electric vehicles. It’s not going to manufacture 18-wheelers and open up monster auto plants costing millions. Healy recognized early on he couldn’t simply slap a new brand on existing technology or change the landscape by doing what everyone else was already doing. Instead, he sought to solve real-world fleet-market concerns with easy-to-adopt technology, and his e-axle design was born.

Hyliion uses a hybrid bolt-on technology that harnesses electric power for big rigs and long-haul trucks. This new, lightweight axle can be fitted to existing trucks, improving fuel economy and lowering emissions. It even taps into regenerative braking technology, an option the trucking industry didn’t know it wanted yet. And the Hyliion Hypertruck might be even more exciting than Tesla’s Cybertruck.

Hyliion’s genius approach to launching innovations

Healy said he knew he wouldn’t be successful if he set out to reinvent the wheel — or, in this case, the big-rig truck. So he found a way to bring to an existing market the latest EV tech, capable of enhancing existing fleets that companies already owned and loved. According to The Motley Fool, Healy has partnered with the auto-industry supplier Dana to manufacture and install this new e-axle technology. With this powertrain technology, Hyliion found a way to revolutionize the logistics industry.

The new class of entrepreneurs

RELATED: 28-Year-Old Thomas Healy Is the Next Elon Musk

Thomas Healy represents a new class of entrepreneurs stepping into the spotlight. Elon Musk may have paved the way for this new breed of innovators, looking for groundbreaking ways to improve the industry. Tesla proved the cliché: Thinking outside the box could still be revolutionary. Today’s leaders and developers, like Healy, are learning that some segments need new tech. And these industries embrace solutions even if at first they don’t realize they need them.

The auto industry will continue to evolve into EV territory, and the technology will only improve from here. That goes for passenger cars and logistics vehicles alike. Tesla had better make room on the EV stage for other innovators and entrepreneurs like Healy. You can expect to see more inventions and vehicle improvements like Hyliion’s battery-powered e-axle. Yes, Musk is considered the father of the EV revolution. But the Thomas Healys of the world are using EV tech to provide real-world solutions across a variety of industry segments.