Norwegian Company To Manufacture ‘Pioneering’ Electric Heavy-Duty Trucks in North Texas

The new Tern brand's inaugural vehicle model RC8, a groundbreaking battery electric Class 8 tractor tailored for the U.S. market, will be manufactured at Hexagon Purus' new facility in Mesquite

A dedicated zero-emission truck brand called Tern has been announced by Norway-based Hexagon Purus in partnership with Japanese manufacturer Hino Trucks—but despite those international origins, the first model is being manufactured right here in North Texas. 

The announcement was made at the Advanced Clean Transportation Expo in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Morten Holum

Tern’s inaugural vehicle model RC8, a “groundbreaking” battery electric Class 8 tractor tailored for the U.S. market, will be manufactured at Hexagon Purus’ new facility in Mesquite. The Tern RC8 is scheduled for serial production late this year, the companies said.

“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,” Hexagon Purus CEO Morten Holum said in a statement. “We’re 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.”

The 200,000-plus-square-foot facility in Mesquite will employ up to 250 skilled workers, the company said, and will support “efficient production and distribution” of Hexagon Purus’ complete battery electric heavy-duty trucks for the U.S. market. 

Cutting-edge electric semi-trucks—and a $2B agreement

The RC8 is an innovative semi-tractor that 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, the company said.

A product of the new long-term agreement between Hexagon Purus and Hino Trucks, valued at up to about $2 billion, Hexagon Purus said Tern is designed to deliver a seamless transition to electrification for the U.S. commercial vehicle sector.

Tern is built on Hino’s “proven” XL Series 4×2 chassis and equipped with Hexagon Purus’ cutting-edge zero-emission technology. The new truck exemplifies innovation with its proprietary battery systems, auxiliary modules, and power modules, Hexagon Purus said.

The truck leverages a Hino chassis assembled in the United States, an e-Axle from Dana 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 companies said the 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 lbs. targeting applications of approximately 200 miles in regional city duty cycles, addressing 95 percent 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 680hp/494hp
  • Peak torque 38,350 ft/lbs.

“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. We’re excited to see Tern launched in California, where fleet electrification is imperative,” Hino Trucks President Glenn Ellis said in a statement.

A Class 8 truck or tractor is one with a gross vehicle weight of 33,001 pounds or more. It’s also referred to as heavy-duty or a semi-truck.

The two companies said the introduction of the Tern brand signifies a transformative step for both them and the commercial trucking industry, driving toward a zero-emission future “without compromising on power or performance.”

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