Hino, Hexagon Purus Launch Class 8 Battery-Electric Truck

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Hino provides the Tern RC8 with an XL Series 4×2 chassis. The vehicle uses two Hexagon Purus battery packs. (Keiron Greenhalgh/Transport Topics)

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LAS VEGAS — Hino Trucks and Hexagon Purus launched a Class 8 battery-electric truck known as the Tern RC8 on May 20, with serial production set to begin in the fourth quarter of 2024, according to the fuel systems developer.

Deliveries to customers are set to begin in the first quarter of 2025, Todd Sloan, Hexagon Purus battery systems and vehicle integration business executive vice president, said at a news conference at ACT Expo 2024.

Tern is a joint venture with Toyota Group subsidiary Hino Trucks. Hino provides the RC8 with an XL Series 4×2 chassis. The joint venture also brought in component manufacturer Dana as the e-axle supplier and battery cells from Panasonic Energy.

“This innovation is a great example of how we will make the world a better place,” Panasonic Energy of North America President Allan Swan told ACT attendees.

Last year Hino signed distribution agreement w/ @HexagonPurus to distribute a battery electric tractor based on our XL 4×2 chassis. These trucks will be distributed exclusively by select qualifyingdealers in our network. See unveiling at ACT Expo 5/20. https://t.co/zZQhJRWSwa pic.twitter.com/FPuYCJ3ijR

— Hino Trucks (@HINOTRUCKSUSA) May 19, 2024

The trucks will be built in Dallas. The battery cells will be manufactured in De Soto, Kan., from 2026 onward.

“Tern RC8 delivers the comfort, reliability and safety that drivers and fleets want, and it’s purpose-built to be a very practical truck for operators integrating zero-emission trucks into their fleets,” Hexagon Purus CEO Morten Holum said.

Targeted at the regional haul and urban delivery market, the RC8 has wheelbase of 165 inches that its developers say is the shortest of any Class 8 tractor on the market. It has a gross vehicle weight rating of 68,000 pounds.

“This is our focus — finding practical applications where zero-emissions technology fits with existing duty cycles and operating patterns — and where the total cost of ownership works already today,” Holum said.

The RC8 uses two Hexagon Purus battery packs, offering peak and continuous horsepower of 680 hp/494 hp as well as 38,350 pound-feet of peak torque.

Sloan said the truck is capable of ascending a 5% grade, such the Grapevine mountain pass in California, at 40 mph and a 10% grade at 20 mph.

“Our partnership with Hexagon Purus introduces a highly reliable Class 8, 4×2 tractor option into the electric truck market, catering to a wide range of applications. We are excited to see Tern launched in California, where fleet electrification is imperative,” Hino Trucks President Glenn Ellis said. Hino Trucks’ dealership network will sell the trucks.

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