REE is looking to reinvent the way electric vehicles (EVs) are designed.
Israel-based electric vehicle startup REE believes it may have found a way to revolutionize EV design with a fully flat platform for electric and autonomous vehicles, which would reshape the current construction of these vehicles.
EVs based on REEs flat and modular platform could have stronger, widespread electrification.
Presently, electric vehicles are designed with one or two motors driving the wheels though traditional axles, a single-speed transmission and a large battery pack that is mounted as low as possible.
However, REE’s EV design will see the drive components contained entirely inside the wheels. This would eliminate the bulky drive unit that’s sitting between the front or rear wheels, providing the benefit of having a totally flat floor for more passenger and cargo space in a given application.
Moreover, CNET’s Road Show notes that by having individual motors in each wheel, this also opens the opportunity for very advanced torque vectoring, which would – in theory – improve both handing and safety.
Although putting the drive components inside the wheel isn’t entirely revolutionary, what is unique is the company’s approach of including not just the motor, but also the steering, drivetrain, sensing, suspension, brakes, electronic component and thermal systems, says Road Show.
REE wanted to change the EV design to catch it up to the changing automotive industry.
In addition to their electric vehicle design project, which REE began six year ago, the company, which was co-founded by Daniel Barel and Ahishay Sardes, is also the co-founder of SoftWheel, a technology company that improves personal mobility for wheelchair users.
In regard to their EV design concept, however, Barel told Interesting Engineering in an interview that REE was inspired to change the current design model because the “entire automotive industry is changing, but the vehicle is still being built on 100-year-old concepts.”
“At REE we are pioneering a fundamental and radical shift to ensure the vehicle of today and tomorrow meets today’s and tomorrow’s needs,” Barel stated.
The new EV design is said to be a one size fits all platform. Therefore, it doesn’t matter if the vehicle using it is robotaxior a 10-ton cross-country truck. It can be specifically built to be customized to all vehicle types.