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A New Modular Platform for EV development: An Interview with Daniel Barel of REE Auto

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E-mobility tech company REE Auto from Tel Aviv, Israel, will soon launch a new platform that could change the way OEMs approach e-Mobility, having developed, from scratch, a completely flat, scalable and modular electric vehicle platform. 
A New Modular Platform for EV development: An Interview with Daniel Barel of REE Auto
REE CEO Daniel Barel. Courtesy of Ree Auto

The really interesting parts of this new platform are the wheel units, which are bolted on to the main platform and contain semi-active suspension, steering, brakes and electric motor.  This in turn enables complete freedom of design and offers the largest possible interior space for the smallest possible exterior footprint.

REE’s target markets are passenger EVs, autonomous cars, electric taxis and shuttles, last mile delivery trucks such as those delivering goods for Amazon and heavy trucks and buses. The company is particularly targeting vehicles for service delivery, such as those used for deliveries, shuttles, logistics etc.

REM talked to Daniel Barel, CEO of REE and the innovator behind the company’s new platform which REE will reveal over the next couple of months.

Can you tell me about the company

REE has developed the next generation Electric Vehicle platform providing customers with full design freedom to create the broadest range of electric and autonomous vehicles. We believe that in just a few years’ time, the electric vehicles you’ll see driving in the street will be powered by REE.

We have developed two core technology innovations; the REEcorner – which integrates all traditional vehicle components into the arch of the wheel (e-motor, steering, braking, suspension), enabling a fully-flat one-box chassis - the REEboard, which provides more space. More space for batteries, more space for people, more space for packages.

Auto manufacturers, OEMs, delivery and logistic companies, retailers and new mobility players – all these target market can tailor EVs and AVs to suit their exact requirements based on our EV platform. Today we have a global presence through more than 300 production lines across the world through our tier-1 partnerships with automotive leaders such as KYB and American Axle. We also have strategic OEMs with companies such as HINO, Toyota’s truck arm.

What are the main advantages of a modular approach to emobility design over the current way of doing things?

There are myriad advantages to a modular approach to e-mobility such as, for example:

Custom tailored - REE's corner, the disruptive technology behind the REE platform, is assembled according to customer specifications and performance needs thus allowing for a limitless matrix combination of motor, suspension, steering, brakes and drives.

Freedom of body design – our platform accommodates any type of body on top design - giving auto manufacturers, OEMs, fleet owners, tech partners and service providers limitless options to build EVs tailored to their exact needs.

Faster launch cycles – REE enables faster launch cycles – without dependencies and limitations set by legacy platform manufacturing, minimum quantities requirements or custom design needs   

Additionally, we have a network of tier 1 automotive partners with 300+ established, working production lines. We work with only top level certified automotive and tech partners making our time to market fast, reliable and efficient.

From one of your promotion videos I get the impression that vehicles using this platform will mostly be moving around in cities. Is that an accurate prediction?

Actually, our EV platform is geared for a wide array of customers and applications in both cities as well as suburban and rural areas. Our platforms support up to 8 tons and are built to suit any type of geographical terrain – be it metropolitan zones and congested city streets, or rural, mountainous areas with challenging terrain. Additionally, our fully flat chassis enables storing more battery, translating into ability to traverse greater distance. 

How will this affect the economics of EVs, particularly when it comes to affordability for ordinary people?

We believe that with the CASE model, there will be new models of ownerships and that ride sharing will be on the rise, making it more affordable for people.

What materials does it use and what are/will be the main difficulties in sourcing those materials?

We have an extensive network and strategic partnerships with Tier-1 automotive partners such as American Axle, NSK, Musashi, Tenneco and KYB that are entrenched in the industry and have decades of know-how and sourcing experience, and together with them we are engineering and designing an platform that is set to become a standard for EVs.

Which companies in which countries are interested in this new design?

We are witnessing major interest in our EV design, in countries such as US, West Europe, Asia, and many other countries around the world. With regulations and policies, the world over calling for zero emission vehicles, and new laws imposed by many cities for low emission zones, the path to vehicle electrification is clear and that is where the world is heading. In terms of companies – we’re seeing major interest from delivery and logistic companies seeking to tailor EVs to their exact needs. For delivery companies for instance, we provide a platform that offers more space for goods and packages, easy accessibility from all sides for faster loading and unloading, really unprecedented spaciousness. Powered by the REEcorner, our platform provides 67 percent more volume for cargo and packages as compared to virtually all other EVs on the market today, and up to 33 percent more space for batteries within the chassis, enabling greater range. Additionally, we also see major interest from companies such as auto manufacturers, retailers and new mobility players.

How long do you think it will be before this becomes a standard component in EVs, or those moving around in cities at least?

We believe that in 2-3 years from now we’ll see a major upsurge in EV adoption as the benefits are clear. We have 1 planet, and it’s become apparently obvious that we need to safeguard it for future generations, and EVs and the promise they hold for zero emissions will be adopted. Sooner rather than later.

For additional information:

REE Auto

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