Hino in Japan has announced it will start marketing a battery electric powered  version of its heavy-duty 600 Series truck in the U.S. next year, and that it will be jointly developing the new model with Norwegian partner Hexagon Purus.

A subsidiary of the Toyota group, Hino says it plans to begin production of the EV next year, and says it will be designed to  be a prime mover capable of hauling semi-trailers and that it aims to sell  around 10,000 units per year in the U.S. by 2030.

Based on the Hino XL 600 4×2 prime mover chassis sold in North America, and according to Hino, the electric version will come equipped with Hexagon’s battery system and software, and will have the capacity to run an entire day on one charge .

Hino says it is aiming to capture the expected rise in demand for zero-emission commercial vehicles in the U.S. as environmental regulations continue to tighten. As an example California announced in March that about half of all commercial vehicles sold within the state will be required to be zero-emission vehicles by 2035.

Commercial vehicles in general, have been slow to electrify in the U.S. compared to passenger cars with the cost of batteries in particular being a major burden  with the higher number and size required given the longer distances large trucks need to travel and the heavier weights they need to carry.

Hino has worked with other companies in developing a zero emission strategy  rather than going it alone. It has joined with Toyota to develop large fuel-cell trucks, and has started developing a small electric truck equipped with powertrains from Australian startup SEA Electric.

“It would be very difficult for Hino to respond to changes in the business environment like the shift toward carbon neutrality on its own,” said Hino’s president, Satoshi Ogiso.

Hino’s light-duty Dutro Z EV, which went on sale in Japan this year, is the company’s only electric truck to have reached the market so far. The company has a goal of electrifying its entire lineup with EVs, fuel-cell vehicles and hybrid vehicles by 2050.

Only 1.2 per cent of commercial vehicles sold globally in 2021 were electrified, but that number is expected to reach at least 23 per cent by 2030.

In May, Toyota and Germany’s Daimler Truck announced they would combine their Japanese based truck businesses under a jointly-owned holding company. Hino and the Daimler-owned Fuso brand. will both become subsidiaries of the new holding company.