Another electric truck startup is looking to go public via a so-called blank check company, joining Nikola (NKLA) as a potential rival to Tesla (TSLA).


Hyliion, a maker of commercial hybrid-electric and all-electric trucks, will merge with Tortoise Acquisition (SHLL), in a deal expected to close in the third quarter with an implied a value of more than $1.5 billion for Hyliion.

The combined company will be named Hyliion Holdings and trade under the ticker “HYLN.”

Austin-based Hyliion was founded in 2015 and its lineup includes the ERX semi-truck. The company predicts $344 million in sales in 2022, reaching $2.1 billion by 2024.

Meanwhile, Nikola is developing its own big-rig electric truck, the Tre, and is expected to go into production in late 2021. Tesla plans to launch its Semi electric truck in 2021.

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Shares of Tortoise Acquisition gained 6.9% on the stock market today. The announcement June 19 to merge with Hyliion sent Tortoise stock soaring.

Tortoise was formed 15 months ago as a “blank check” or special purpose acquisition company, many of which have been targeting next-gen auto plays. It assessed 200 companies before selecting Hyliion for its “market-disruptive” business plan.

Meanwhile, Nikola stock lost 2% Friday, and Tesla fell 1.6%.

The electric truck and electric van space has been a hotbed of activity lately. Automakers see electric trucks and vans, especially in the commercial space, as key growth drivers in years to come.

Earlier in June, blank check company VectoIQ Acquisition completed its proposed merger with Nikola, a fuel-cell and all-electric truck company.

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Workhorse‘s (WKHSnext-gen electric delivery vans won key certification earlier this week. Late Thursday, Ford (F) revealed its new F-150 and said it plans an electric version of its best-selling pickup.

General Motors (GM) plans an electric Hummer truck, and Tesla has the Cybertruck electric pickup due. GM and Ford also have electric vans in the works.

Find Aparna Narayanan on Twitter at @IBD_ANarayanan.


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