Panasonic to supply batteries to heavy-duty truck by Hexagon Purus and Hino Trucks

Date: 24/05/2024
Panasonic announced its lithium-ion batteries will power the new groundbreaking Tern, a dedicated zero- emission truck brand along with their inaugural vehicle model, the RC8, a groundbreaking battery electric Class 8 tractor tailored for the U.S. market. Tern is supplied by Hexagon Purus ASA (“Hexagon Purus”; Oslo, Norway), a world leading manufacturer of zero emission mobility, and Hino Trucks (Novi, Michigan, U.S.) This is the first time Panasonic Energy’s batteries are being used in a commercial vehicle. The new truck will be unveiled at the forthcoming Advanced Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo in Las Vegas.

EV Truck

Today’s announcement extends from Panasonic Energy and Hexagon Purus’ partnership first announced in April 2023 and represents a significant step forward in transitioning the U.S. commercial vehicle sector from fossil fuels to electric power while supporting the establishment of a more American-based supply chain for the industry. Built on Hino Trucks’ proven XL 4x2 chassis and equipped with Hexagon Purus’ zero-emission technology, this innovative semi-tractor 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. Panasonic Energy will begin manufacturing batteries for Hexagon Purus’ Tern Trucks in Japan before delivering from its new U.S. production facility in De Soto, Kansas, which is currently under construction.

“Commercial and heavy-duty transportation represents critical infrastructure for the U.S. economy, and the rapid growth of the commercial EV industry underscores the need for innovative solutions in this sector. Providing batteries for Tern and Hexagon Purus is an important step in helping us to drive the growth of the lithium-ion battery industry and accelerating the transition to zero-emission mobility,” said Kazuo Tadanobu, CEO, Panasonic Energy.

Heavy duty fleet operators have a pressing need for more innovative platforms to add ZEV capacity to their fleets. Under the Advanced Clean Truck (ACT) standard, introduced by the California Air Resources Board (CARB), 5% of all new class 7 and 8 trucks sold in 2024 in California must be zero- emission vehicles (ZEV) while new additions to fleets of class 7 and 8 trucks operating to and fromintermodal seaports and railyards are required to be ZEV from 2024. The ACT standard also requires 100 percent of truck manufacturers’ sales in 2040 to come from ZEVs, and has been adopted by seven other states in the U.S. (Oregon, Washington, Massachusetts, Vermont, New York, New Jersey, Colorado) Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York) with Maryland and North Carolina in the process of adopting the rule. In addition, according to a study published by market research firm P&S Intelligence, the U.S. electric truck market is expected to reach USD 15,143 million by 2030, with a CAGR of 54% from 2023. Heavy-duty trucks are expected to be the fastest-growing category.

“Panasonic has been a pioneer in making zero-emission mobility available to the mass market, and this, coupled with their reliability and focus on continuous innovation, makes them the ideal partner for Hexagon Purus,” said Morten Holum, CEO, Hexagon Purus. “As the need for zero-emission heavy duty trucking grows, our partnership with Panasonic for the production of Tern strengthens our leading battery system and vehicle integration offering in North America.”

Panasonic Energy is a global leader in lithium-ion batteries, with a nearly 100-year history of innovation in batteries spanning both battery cell technology and battery business operations. The company continues to strengthen its lineup of automotive lithium-ion batteries and expand its production capacity, currently developing the new "4680" high-capacity lithium-ion battery in Japan. Panasonic Energy's facility in Sparks, Nevada, is now one of the world's largest lithium-ion battery factories, surpassing nine billion EV battery cells shipped.

The expansion in Kansas builds on its proven success as the North American market leader in EV lithium-ion batteries and long-term commitment to advancing the EV industry in the United States. The factory is also a demonstration of the Panasonic Group’s Green IMPACT initiative, which is aimed at reducing the company’s CO2 emission to virtually net-zero by 2030 and contributing to 300 million tons in avoided emissions by 2050.

Source: Panasonic