At the IAA in Frankfurt, the Israeli start-up REE and its strategic partner Musashi Seimitsu, a global Japanese Tier 1 group, presented a revolutionary, new approach to electric vehicles. The design is in visual terms like a skateboard with large wheels. But it is precisely these wheels that make all the difference between conventional designs and the REE-design.

The flat and modular platform is intended to fundamentally change the way electric vehicles are built in order “to empower widespread vehicle electrification”, the inventors say. The fact that all the components (motor, steering, suspension, drivetrain, sensing, brakes, thermal systems, and electronics) which are normally placed under the hood are now in the wheels, not only makes the vehicle smaller and lighter, it also makes it more energy efficient. The platform can, however, be used for multiple configurations on the body. In addition, it provides a low center of gravity “to maximize efficiency and supports the vehicle’s agility and stability,” the Tel Aviv-based company writes on its website.

© REE

Past concepts are limited and restrict the ability of the automotive industry when it comes to realizing the electric and autonomous reality that they are striving for,” said Daniel Barel, Co-Founder, and CEO of REE. “Until now, the industry has operated by making incremental improvements on the traditional design of the automotive vehicle. Together with Musashi, we are re-imagining the future for the automotive industry and hastening the automotive revolution by, quite literally, reinventing the wheel.”

From four to 18 people

For manufacturers, the platform offers the possibility of tailor-made solutions. Based on a novel quad-motor system, and including active height-level 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 able to do 0-60 mph in less than 3 seconds, to an off-road SUV with advanced active suspension technology.” The platform could also be used as the base of a robo-taxi or even a 10-ton cross-country truck.

The smallest version, the REE Air, offers space for four people, has a top speed of 100 km/h, a passive/semi-active suspension and a range of 300 kilometers. The REE Share offers space for six to eight passengers, the Ree Bolder for 18 people.