Rochester’s Hyzon Motors USA Inc. has completed its business combination with Decarbonization Plus Acquisition Corp. and has begun trading on the Nasdaq Global Select market under the symbols HYZN and HYZNW.
As part of the business completion, Decarbonization Plus has changed its name to Hyzon Motors Inc. As a result of the transaction, Hyzon has received more than $550 million in primary proceeds, including funds from DCRB’s former trust account and $400 million in cash from a private placement in public equity.
Hyzon plans to use the proceeds to accelerate its growth and to fund operations. All equity holders of Hyzon USA have rolled over 100 percent of their securities and own roughly 70 percent of the combined company.
Hyzon will be led by Hyzon USA’s senior management team including George Gu as executive chairman, Craig Knight as CEO, Mark Gordon as chief financial officer, Adam Kroll as chief administrative officer, parker Meeks as chief strategy officer and John Zavoli as general counsel and chief legal officer.
The company’s board will be comprised of Gu, Knight, Erik Anderson, Mark Gordon, Elaine Wong, Ivy Brown, Viktor Meng, Dennis Edward and KD Park.
“We are old hydrogen guys who set up a new business,” Knight said of Hyzon and its predecessor. “Our chairman, George, and I set up Horizon Fuel Cell together with some other guys in 2003 and did a little work on technology development, commercialization of fuel cell technology. Then in early 2020, we chose to set up a new entity, really to leverage the core technology we had built up over the years into what we saw was about to become a very sizable market.”
That market is the decarbonization of over-the-road trucks and heavy vehicles such as concrete and garbage trucks, as well as transit vehicles and more. Since founding Horizon in China in 2003, the team has steadily worked on transforming the industry through its fuel cell technology.
“We realized that we were doing things that nobody else in the world was doing. We had all these heavy trucks driving around (China) powered by the fuel cells made by the parent company Horizon. And realized they needed to be sent around the world and globalized,” Knight said of Horizon’s early days. “When we looked at the options for how fast to accelerate the rate at which fuel cell trucks were adopted in place of diesel trucks, we realized that the rest of the world wasn’t quite ready to jump on this in a big way. We needed to be more creative. So that’s why we chose to create a new truck brand, in fact leveraging chassis and motors and storage tanks and all sorts of things from other parties, but injecting the core fuel cell technology.”
Horizon’s mission is to replace hydrocarbon fuels with an end-to-end zero carbon energy solution, seeking out the highest possible global impact in the nearest possible time frame. Since 2015, Horizon has invested deeply in the development of fuel cells for hydrogen-electric mobility, as there was a growing consensus that hydrogen would be a very important part of future decarbonization efforts around the world.
In early 2020, Hyzon unveiled its U.S. headquarters and production facility at the former General Motors Corp. fuel cell facility in Honeoye Falls. Knight said that location employs 20 to 30 people. The company has some 100 staffers worldwide, but that is expected to rise to 300 or more by the end of 2022.
In addition to the Finger Lakes Region production facility, Hyzon has a technology center in Chicago, as well as a small powertrain group in Detroit.
“The fuel cell systems and vehicle subsystems are built in Rochester, like the hydrogen system, for example. These subsystems are then subsequently sent to assembly plants,” Knight said. “The assembly plants could be in Europe, so we actually integrate the fuel cells and the powertrains and the hydrogen systems into native European truck platforms.”
In 2022, Hyzon plans to begin shipping the subsystems to Fontaine Modification, a truck assembly specialist under the Berkshire Hathaway umbrella.
“They take chassis and build out the truck so that it has all the features and components that a fleet operator needs, because there are many different things you need in trucks depending on what the use spec is,” Knight explained. “You could specify your own suspension system, transmission system, different engine systems, all sorts of stuff. Trucks are very different to passenger cars, which are all essentially like a cookie-cutter production. Trucks are a lot more customized.”
Knight said by the end of 2021, Hyzon expects to have over-the-road trucks making deliveries in California. The company will fill out the Freightliner platform vehicles with its hydrogen system, fuel cell and the electric drive to get the power to the wheels.
Knight noted that the hydrogen system works well with vehicles that require frequent stops and starts.
“We work with hydrogen project developers and technology providers to set up hydrogen assets close to where the demand centers for their fleet operations are. And that enables strong economics,” he said. “Before the end of 2022 we should have at least one location operating in California, supplying us with hydrogen that enables us to have truck fleets operating for our customers at or below their diesel (costs).”
Last week, Hyzon reiterated its February 2021 sales guidance and said the company was on track to meet its 2022 outlook with orders and non-binding commitments from its global customer base. Orders and non-binding memorandums of understanding have increased to represent up to $83 million, up more than 50 percent from $55 million as of April 29, 2021, and more than 100 percent from Feb. 12, 2021. Expected 2022 deliveries include up to 70 trucks from Austrian grocery retailer MPREIS currently under an MoU.
“Hydrogen is now. So much talk about hydrogen is about 10 years from now, and one of the things we like to do is prove that it’s now, even in the U.S. which is a later adopter compared to Europe,” Knight added. “All we’re doing by bringing Hyzon to the U.S. market is helping to catch up to the rest of the world, which is already adopting this technology.”
Shares of company stock opened on Monday at $9.70. An hour into trading, shares had dipped slightly to $9.64.
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