Hino, Hexagon Puras bringing new entrant to Class 8 space

Tern truck on a highway bridge

Hino Trucks and Hexagon Puras introduced Tern, a dedicated zero-emission truck brand and its inaugural truck model, the RC8, Monday during a press event at the ACT Expo in Las Vegas.

The Class 8 Tern RC8 is built on Hino’s proven XL Series 4x2 chassis and integrates Hexagon Purus’ cutting-edge zero-emission technology. Hino says the RC8 boasts innovative features including proprietary battery systems, auxiliary modules, and power modules. The vehicle leverages a U.S.-assembled Hino chassis, Dana’s Zero-8 e-Axle for optimum efficiency, and battery cells supplied and manufactured by Panasonic Energy initially in Japan, before transitioning to De Soto, Kansas from 2026 onwards, ensuring reliability, American sourcing and top-tier performance, the company says.

Additionally, the companies say Tern trucks will be exclusively available through select qualifying Hino dealers comprising the Tern dealer network, leveraging Hino Trucks’ infrastructure ensuring total support. Serial production for the Tern RC8 is scheduled for late 2024, the companies state.

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“Our collaboration 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 be the exclusive distributor for Tern with an initial distribution focus in California, where fleet electrification is imperative,” says Glenn Ellis, president and CEO of Hino Trucks. 

The companies also note this launch aligns with California’s Advanced Clean Fleets regulation, offering fleets a compelling option to decarbonize their fleet, particularly in target applications like metro-regional routes, food and beverage logistics and similar routes where the tight turning radius and popular 4x2 chassis provide practical benefits.

Hino says key features of the Tern RC8 include:

  • A 100% battery-electric platform with an industry-leading short wheelbase of 165 in.
  • Gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 68,000 lb.
  • Dual Hexagon Purus Gen3 269 kWh battery packs in a 750-volt, 538kWh configuration, providing substantial power and range for most duty cycles
  • Recharge rate of 241 kW, allowing 80 percent charge in a little under 2 hours
  • Peak/continuous horsepower of 680hp/494hp

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

The introduction of the Tern brand signifies a transformative step for both companies and the commercial trucking industry, driving towards a zero-emission future without compromising on power or performance, the companies add.

“We are eager to work with Tern dealers to build a strong sales distribution and service support network for customers of this exciting and innovative new product,” says Rodney Shaffer, vice president of National Accounts and Zero Emission Vehicles of Hino Trucks.

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