At the Advanced Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo, Hexagon Purus and Hino Trucks announced the introduction of Tern, a new zero-emission truck brand, and its first model, the RC8. This Class 8 battery electric tractor is designed for the US market and aims to support the transition to electric fleets.


Source: Panasonic

Tern is the result of a long-term agreement between Hexagon Purus and Hino Trucks, valued at approximately $2 billion. The RC8 will be manufactured at Hexagon Purus’ new facility in Dallas, Texas, with serial production set to begin in late 2024. The RC8 is built on Hino’s XL Series 4x2 chassis and incorporates Hexagon Purus’ advanced zero-emission technology. Key components include an e-Axle from Dana and battery cells from Panasonic Energy, initially produced in Japan and later in De Soto, Kansas, starting in 2026. 

“The Tern RC8 provides the comfort, reliability, and safety that drivers and fleets require,” said Morten Holum, CEO of Hexagon Purus. “It’s designed to be a practical zero-emission truck for various fleet applications.”

Battery-Electric Platform: 100% battery-electric with a short wheelbase of 165 inches.

GVW: 68,000lbs (30.8t), suitable for applications of approximately 200 miles in regional city duty cycles.

Kerb weight: 18,000lbs (8164kg)

Battery Configuration: Dual Hexagon Purus Gen3 269kWh battery packs in a 750-volt, 538kWh setup.

Recharge Rate: 241kW.

Performance: Peak/continuous horsepower of 680hp/494hp

Tern trucks will be available through a dedicated dealer network, leveraging Hino’s extensive service infrastructure. This launch aligns with California’s Advanced Clean Fleets regulation, offering a viable solution for fleet electrification, especially for metro-regional routes and food and beverage logistics.

“Our partnership with Hexagon Purus brings a reliable Class 8, 4x2 electric tractor to the market, suitable for a variety of applications. We’re excited to introduce Tern in California, where fleet electrification is critical,” explained Glenn Ellis, President of Hino Trucks. 

The RC8 marks the first use of Panasonic Energy’s batteries in a commercial vehicle. This partnership, announced in April 2023, aims to advance the US commercial vehicle sector’s transition to electric power and strengthen the American supply chain. “Providing batteries for Tern and Hexagon Purus is essential for the growth of the lithium-ion battery industry and accelerating zero-emission mobility,” said Kazuo Tadanobu, CEO of Panasonic Energy.

Panasonic Energy, a leader in lithium-ion batteries, is expanding its production capacity and developing the new “4680” high-capacity battery. Its facility in Sparks, Nevada, is one of the largest lithium-ion battery factories globally, and the upcoming Kansas facility will further support the ev industry and Panasonic’s Green IMPACT initiative to reduce co2 emissions.