Hexagon Purus, Hino Trucks introduce Tern

New Class 8 brand of trucks introduced at ACT Expo

Hino Tern is a new brand of Class 8 trucks, developed by Hexagon Purus and Hino. (Photo: Hexagon Purus)

During the Advanced Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo, Hexagon Purus and Hino Trucks launched Tern, a dedicated zero-emission truck brand along with their inaugural vehicle model, the RC8, a battery-electric Class 8 tractor tailored for the U.S. market. The semi-tractor leverages Hexagon Purus’ years of development of zero-emission drivetrains for heavy-duty trucks. The companies said it represents a driver-preferred option for fleets that are electrifying practical routes.

A product of a new long-term agreement between Hexagon Purus and Hino Trucks valued at approximately $2 billion, the companies said 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, Texas, the Tern RC8 is scheduled for serial production in late 2024.

Built on Hino’s proven XL Series 4x2 chassis and equipped with Hexagon Purus’ zero-emission technology, Tern uses 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. The cells will initially be made in Japan, before reportedly transitioning to De Soto, Kansas, from 2026.

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

Tern trucks will be available through the brand’s dealer network and will leverage Hino’s network ensuring total support and service. The companies said the launch aligns with the Advanced Clean Fleets regulation in California and gives fleets an  option to decarbonize their supply chain, especially in target applications such as metro-regional routes, food & beverage logistics and similar routes where the tight turning radius and popular 4x2 chassis offer practical benefits.

“Our partnership with Hexagon Purus introduces a highly reliable Class 8, 4x2 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,” said Glenn Ellis, president of Hino Trucks.

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