Hexagon Purus, Hino Debut Tern Zero-Emission Truck

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Hexagon Purus, in partnership with Hino Trucks, has launched the Tern, a dedicated zero-emission truck brand, along with the inaugural vehicle model, the RC8, a battery-electric Class 8 tractor tailored for the U.S. market.

This semi-tractor leverages Hexagon Purus’ years of development of zero-emission drivetrains for heavy-duty trucks and represents a driver-preferred option for fleets that are electrifying practical routes.

A product of the new long-term agreement between Hexagon Purus and Hino Trucks, valued at up to about $2 billion, Tern is designed to deliver a seamless transition to electrification for the U.S. commercial vehicle sector. Manufactured in Hexagon Purus’ new facility in Dallas, the Tern RC8 is scheduled for serial production in late 2024.

Built on Hino’s XL Series 4×2 chassis and equipped with Hexagon Purus’ zero-emission technology, Tern provides proprietary battery systems, auxiliary modules and power modules. The vehicle leverages a U.S.-assembled Hino chassis, an e-axle from Dana, and battery cells supplied and manufactured by Panasonic Energy initially in Japan, before transitioning to 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,” says Morten Holum, CEO of Hexagon Purus. “We are excited to introduce a truck that embodies the endurance and efficiency of the Arctic tern, renowned for its light weight and long migratory journey — a trusty companion you can always rely on.”

Key features of the Tern RC8 include:

  • A 100% battery electric platform with a short wheelbase of 165 inches
  • A gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 68,000 lbs.  targeting applications of approximately 200 miles in regional city duty cycles, addressing 95% of use cases
  • Dual Hexagon Purus Gen3 269 kWh battery packs in a 750 V, 538 kWh configuration, providing substantial power and range for targeted duty cycles
  • Recharge rate of 241 kW
  • Peak/continuous horsepower of 680/494 hp
  • Peak torque of 38,350 ft.-lbs.

Tern trucks will be available exclusively through the Tern dealer network and will leverage Hino’s network ensuring total support and service. This launch aligns with the Advanced Clean Fleets regulation in California and gives fleets an option to decarbonize their supply chain, especially in target applications like metro-regional routes, food and beverage logistics, and similar routes where the tight turning radius and 4×2 chassis offer practical benefits.

“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,” says Glenn Ellis, president of Hino Trucks. “We are excited to see Tern launched in California, where fleet electrification is imperative.”

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