What happened

Hyliion Holdings (NYSE:HYLN) has flown relatively under the radar compared to other electric vehicle companies that have come to market over the past year. Its CEO, Thomas Healy, in an interview this week said Hyliion is focused on winning the long game, and its shares are up more than 10% on Thursday on that assurance.

So what

Hyliion was one of a number of automotive electrification companies to go public last year via a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), and as with most such companies the shares have been volatile. The shares climbed as high as $58.66 late last summer before giving all of that back in the months that followed.

A Hyliion demonstration truck.

Image source: Hyliion Holdings.

But CEO Thomas Healy, who at 28 briefly became one of the country's youngest billionaires before the stock receded, told industry publication Freight Waves he isn't focused on day-to-day share price and that his company remains on track to meet its long-term goals.

Hyliion isn't in the business of designing electric vehicles; rather it is focused on the powertrain. The company has designed an electric powertrain that can turn existing diesel tractor-trailer trucks into more efficient hybrids, and a separate product designed for new electric or hydrogen-powered trucks.

In theory, that business model allows Hyliion to partner with incumbent manufacturers instead of battling with them. But for that to work, the company needs to show it is able to work with the incumbents.

Now what

Healy said that the cash generated by the SPAC merger, coupled with an additional $142 million raised from the sale of warrants to early investors, more than funds the company's business plan. That's more than a lot of start-ups can say. He also talked up the major trucking companies, including Anheuser-Busch InBev, Werner Enterprises, and Schneider National, that are working with Hyliion prototypes.

There's still a long way to go before the business can be deemed a success, and the stock's current sub-$10 price reflects that. But the interview if nothing else serves as a reassuring reminder to investors that Hyliion management is not distracted by near-term stock fluctuations. That appears to be enough to have the stock moving in the right direction on Thursday.

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