Modular Platform for EVs Literally Reinvents the Wheel

July 11, 2019 by Scott McMahan

REE, an Israeli-based startup has come out of stealth mode. REE unveiled a flat and modular platform which could fundamentally change the way electric vehicles are built to power widespread vehicle electrification.

At the heart of REE advances, the company has literally reinvented the car wheel to now incorporate motor steering, suspension, drivetrain, sensing, electronics, brake, thermal systems, the rim, and the tire.

Then they devised a single platform for EVs, which they refer to as their skateboard chassis. It integrates essentially all of the components formerly found under the hood of the car into the wheel. This truly flat platform includes four covered, fully-integrated wheels.

The company points out that the design provides a low center of gravity to maximize efficiency and supports the vehicle's agility and stability. REE's innovation drastically decreases a vehicle's footprint, weight, and enhances both energy efficiency and performance, aspects critical to EV and autonomous vehicles.

Weight comparison of REE skateboard platform to conventional EV chassis

REE says it platform gives automakers, mobility providers, and delivery companies a tailor-made solution. Based on a unique quad-motor system, it includes active height-leveling suspension, steer-by-wire, and a smart quad-gear box, REE's technology presents the basis of any type of vehicle from a high-performance car that can go 0 to 60mph in less than 3 seconds to an off-road SUV with advanced active suspension.

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Four-wheel EVs ranging from a robotaxi to even a 10-ton, cross-country truck can utilize the platform, according to REE.

"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," said Daniel Barel, Co-Founder and CEO of REE.

REE points out that the adaptation of its universal framework replaces multiple platforms for OEMs resulting in substantial savings. The design and validation of each platform usually costs manufacturers billions of US$. Enabling automakers to utilize one platform for all of their vehicles will slash costs while performance, safety, comfort, and energy efficiency will all be tremendously improved.

REE is already working with leading OEMs in addition to Tier-1 and Tier-2 automotive companies including Mitsubishi Corporation, Musashi Seimitsu Industry, American Axle, Tenneco, FCA and NSK among others.

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