Hino and Hexagon Purus launch Tern electric truck brand for US

Japanese truck manufacturer Hino Trucks (Toyota) and Norwegian zero-emission powertrain and storage specialist Hexagon Purus have joined forces to create Tern, a new zero-emission truck brand aimed at the US market. Their first RC8 model was unveiled at the Advanced Clean Transportation Expo in Las Vegas.

The Tern RC8 is a short-haul battery-electric truck that distinguishes itself with a short wheelbase of 165 inches (4.19 m) thanks to Hino’s XL Series 4×2 chassis, making it suited for urban use. The e-Axle comes from Dana, and it will be manufactured by Hexagon Purus in Dallas, Texas.

While Panasonic Energy initially supplies the batteries from Japan, the RC8 will use American-made batteries from De Soto from 2026 onward, making it eligible for President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act tax credit.

Slow charging

However, the Tern RC8’s specs are not that impressive. Two 269 kWh battery packs offer up to 200 miles of range at a GWVR of 68,000 lbs (30.8 tons) while charging from 0-80% takes at least two hours due to a maximum charging rate of 241 kW – even with a 750 V battery architecture. The electric motor delivers a peak power of 680 hp, with 494 hp of continuous power on tap.

Tern says this addresses the needs of “95 percent of use cases” while targeting “metro-regional routes, food & beverage logistics and similar routes where the tight turning radius and popular 4×2 chassis offer practical benefits.”

Made for California

California will likely be the biggest market for Tern, where the Advanced Clean Fleet (ACF) regulation forces transport operators to buy zero-emission trucks from this year, with a target of 10% by 2027 for this category of day cab tractors.

The Tern RC8 will enter series production in late 2024.


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