What happened

Investors are going into the holiday weekend with a renewed interest in electric vehicle start-up stocks. That's particularly true in the area of commercial semi trucks. And Hyliion Holdings (HYLN) is one beneficiary. Hyliion shares were up double-digits at the highs of Thursday's session, and remained up 8.2% as of 3:22 P.M. ET. 

So what

The move seems to be coming in sympathy with a bigger jump in competitor Nikola's (NKLA -8.33%) shares. Nikola recently reported it delivered its first battery-electric trucks to a customer. The market is giving it credit for the milestone today, with Nikola shares zooming more than 22% higher at their peak of the day. 

Two semi trucks with Hyliion's electrification platform.

Image source: Hyliion Holdings.

Now what

Hyliion's offerings include a fully electric truck powertrain as well as a hybrid electrification platform from which the company expects to begin recognizing revenue in the fourth quarter of 2021. But the company reported a net loss of $26.6 million in the third quarter, bringing its year-to-date loss to more than $66 million. 

That helps explain why the company's stock is down nearly 60% in 2021. But investors are brushing that aside today as the market reacted positively to news that Nikola has officially delivered its first electric trucks to a customer. 

As of Sept. 30, 2021, Hyliion still has $289 million in cash and equivalents on its balance sheet. But that's down from just over $389 million at the end of 2020. With the company expecting to recognize revenue from its hybrid product beginning in the current quarter, that should be sufficient to get it into its commercialization phase. Today's pop comes after the sharp drop in shares so far this year, and after a competitor made progress in its own business. But investors will have to watch closely for the company's own progress in what looks to be a pivotal year for its business next year.