Holcim to test electric powertrains in South Central tractor fleet

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IMAGES: Hyliion Holdings Corp.

Holcim US has spec’ed Hyliion Hypertruck ERX electric powertrains for 10 tractors serving Texas and Oklahoma cement and concrete operations, plus sister roofing product businesses. Batteries powering the Hypertruck ERX draw from an onboard generator running on compressed natural gas (CNG) or renewable natural gas (RNG), consumption of which compares favorably against diesel fuel when measuring carbon dioxide emissions. 

Holcim US is among the first customers of Austin, Texas-based Hyliion Holdings to apply the battery electric powertrain concept to construction materials-geared vehicles. 

The Hypertruck ERX spec, notes Holcim US Aggregates & Construction Materials CEO Jay Moreau, “underscores the direction Holcim is taking around the globe to reach our sustainability and environmental goals. By integrating sustainable technologies like electric vehicles into our operations, we are able to build on a promise of making greener cities, reducing emissions and driving the circular economy.”

The Hyliion Hypertruck ERX concept calls for back of cab-mounted compressed natural gas tanks fueling a generator below. The latter charges rail-mounted batteries supporting an electric engine mounted similarly to a diesel model in a Class 8 chassis.

The producer’s battery electric powertrain trucks will be delivered in 2023-24. They will join field trials Hyliion plans as part of a Hypertruck ERX validation phase leading to Environmental Protection Agency, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and California Air Resources Board certifications. 

“The Hypertruck ERX can be a transformative solution for an organization like Holcim that demonstrates such a strong commitment to green solutions,” notes Hyliion CEO and Founder Thomas Healy. “Hyliion and Holcim share the ambitious goal of transforming our respective industries. [Our] mission is to facilitate major change in commercial trucking, a large contributor of greenhouse gas emissions, and we intend to achieve that with a solution that supports the environmental goals of sustainability-minded fleets without sacrificing their business needs.”

Hyliion engineers the Hypertruck ERX for integration on major Class 8 brand day cab or long-haul models. The Holcim US order combines the battery electric powertrain and Peterbilt 579s. The ERX launch dovetails ongoing ramp up of national CNG fueling infrastructure—700-plus stations to date for commercial truck fleets. Concurrently, station operators have tapped into a growing supply of RNG, derived from dairy farm digesters and other major methane emissions sources. RNG processed from dairy farm sources amounts to a carbon-negative fuel due to methane’s exponentially higher greenhouse gas signature compared to carbon dioxide emissions from diesel fuel consumption.