Watch Now

Xos gets first Class 8 electric truck deal from Hino

Contract returns startup to original mission after pivot to medium-duty

Startup Xos Trucks will make electric chassis for Class 8 Hino Trucks. (Photo: Xos Trucks)

Startup Xos trucks originally pitched itself as a custom electric chassis maker for Class 8 trucks. After pivoting to medium-duty trucks, the company is back on mission with a contract from Japan’s Hino Trucks.

Xos, formerly Thor Trucks, will supply its X-Pack, a modular battery pack system, to the Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE: TM) subsidiary. The X-Pack is built from the cell-level up to operate as an intelligent standalone unit. 

After giving up its original name, Xos proceeded with deals to make electrified chassis for United Parcel Service (NYSE: UPS) and cash-hauling armored truck company Loomis US.

Surprising timing

The Hino contract timing was surprising. Xos CEO Dakota Semler said told FreightWaves in May that Class 8 work had “taken a back seat” to low-volume production of medium-duty trucks.

“We intend to take (Class 8 trucks) to production, and start selling those to customers,” Semler said. “We still have reservations. We still have customers that want the Class 8. And we’ll be delivering it.”

In a post on Medium, Jose Castaneda, Xos vice president of business development wrote: “When we launched Xos Trucks, our flagship prototype was the ET-One, a fully electric Class 8 truck for heavy-duty applications.”

Each Xos system has its own air cooling for safety, and lower weight and cost. Remote diagnostics give fleet operators real-time visibility into the performance of their Xos fleet.

“Our trucks have benefits that make them more efficient for long-haul applications than combustion engines,”  Castaneda said.

Global suppliers

Xos is not alone in supplying Hino. The company selected Australia’s SEA Electric and Germany’s Hexagon Purus to electrify other Class 4-8 trucks as part of Project Z. The centerpiece is the development of a hydrogen fuel cell-powered Class 8 truck for North America with parent company Toyota.

The SEA Electric SEA-Drive® 120a paired with a Class 5 Hino M Series chassis is available today, Hino senior vice president of Customer Experience Glenn Ellis said in a press release.

“Our holistic approach to working with technology leaders like Toyota, Hexagon Purus and Xos will result in a sustainable, low-cost product line up that will meet the needs of our customers as our industry moves forward to zero-emission vehicles,” Ellis said.

Related articles:

Hino, Toyota bringing Class 8 fuel cell truck to North America

Xos electric truck startup edging toward low-volume production

Xos Trucks raises $20 million for electric chassis

Click for more FreightWaves articles by Alan Adler

F3: Future of Freight Festival


The second annual F3: Future of Freight Festival will be held in Chattanooga, “The Scenic City,” this November. F3 combines innovation and entertainment — featuring live demos, industry experts discussing freight market trends for 2024, afternoon networking events, and Grammy Award-winning musicians performing in the evenings amidst the cool Appalachian fall weather.

Alan Adler

Alan Adler is an award-winning journalist who worked for The Associated Press and the Detroit Free Press. He also spent two decades in domestic and international media relations and executive communications with General Motors.