Automated & Connected

Israeli startup REE reinvents the wheel with a modular approach to future EV design

REE proposed modular platform for electric vehicles reimagines vehicle drivetrain principles for a more efficient, reliable, and scalable electric future.

REE – an Israeli startup – has debuted a flat, modular platform for electric vehicles (EVs) which could fundamentally changes the way they are built. By integrating all of the drivetrain components normally found under the hood of a car into the wheel of an EV, the platform optimizes freedom of design, multiple body configurations on a single platform, reduced vehicle size and weight, and increased energy and operational efficiency.

REE platform places the motor, steering, suspension, drivetrain, sensing, brakes, thermal systems, and electronics into the wheel, creating a truly flat, skateboard-like platform that lowers the vehicle’s center of gravity, and in turn, maximizes efficiency and enhances vehicle agility and stability. The design reduces a vehicle's overall footprint, weight, and improves both energy efficiency and performance – aspects crucial to the successful electric and autonomous vehicle development.

 

 

“The concepts of the past are limited and restrict the ability of the automotive industry to realize the electric and autonomous reality they are striving for. Until now, the industry has operated by making incremental improvements on the traditional design of the automotive vehicle. At REE, we believe that in order to hasten the automotive revolution we need to reinvent the wheel – quite literally,” says Daniel Barel, REE co-founder and CEO.

 

Image courtesy: REE

 

Based on a novel quad-motor system, and including active height-levelling suspension, steer-by-wire, and a smart quad-gear box, REE's technology provides the basis of any type of vehicle from a high-performance car capable of accelerating from zero to 60 miles per hour in less than 3 seconds to an off-road SUV with advanced active suspension technology. The platform can also be used as the base of a robotaxi or even a 10-ton cross country truck.

 

Read more: Local Motors rolls out a new autonomous fleet challenge to the Pacific Northwest

 

The adaptation of REE's universal framework will replace multiple platforms for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) resulting in substantial savings. The design and validation of each platform traditionally costs manufacturers billions; by enabling them to utilize one platform for all of their vehicles, REE believes that development costs will can slashed, while performance, safety, comfort, and energy efficiency will all be drastically improved.

REE is already collaborating with leading OEMs as well as Tier-1 and Tier-2 automotive companies including Mitsubishi Corporation, Musashi Seimitsu Industry, Tenneco, American Axle, FCA, and NSK.

Mitsubishi Corporation commented, “We can see REE's technology has huge potential in the autonomous driving world, as it makesthe electrification process highly efficient with its new modular platform.”

 

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William Kucinski is content editor at SAE International, Aerospace Products Group in Warrendale, Pa. Previously, he worked as a writer at the NASA Safety Center in Cleveland, Ohio and was responsible for writing the agency’s System Failure Case Studies. His interests include literally anything that has to do with space, past and present military aircraft, and propulsion technology.

Contact him regarding any article or collaboration ideas by e-mail at william.kucinski@sae.org.