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.
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.
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.