A Company Builds New and Fully Flat Platform for Electric and Autonomous Vehicles

Exclusive interview with REE's CEO on how REE is reshaping the construction of autonomous and electric vehicles.

A Company Builds New and Fully Flat Platform for Electric and Autonomous Vehicles
Flat Chassis REE

"Electric vehicles represent the future of mobility," said Daniel Barel, CEO, and Co-founder of REE, a company that is rebuilding the way vehicles are made. 

On Tuesday, REE unveiled its new and exciting product: a revolutionary flat and modular platform. By reimagining the vehicle, REE is creating electric vehicles with stronger widespread electrification.  

As the title suggests, REE's Co-founders Barel, and Ahishay Sardes, have literally reinvented the wheel. They have taken all the components usually found under the hood of a car and moved them into the wheel.

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Read on to find out how this improves efficiency for electric and autonomous vehicles. 

Who is REE?

REE stands for REthink, REdesign, REstructure and REinvent the automotive industry.

And that's how the name REE was born.

A Company Builds New and Fully Flat Platform for Electric and Autonomous Vehicles
Ahishay Sardes, Co-founder, and CEO of SoftWheel and REE. Source: LinkedIn

Barel and Sardes started working on this project six years ago, and on Tuesday they were finally able to disclose the details of their exciting new project.

They are also the co-founders of SoftWheel, an inspiring technology company that improves personal mobility for wheelchair users.

In a direct interview with Barel, co-founder of REE, he told Interesting Engineering that their inspiration came to them because the "entire automotive industry is changing, but the vehicle is still being built on 100-year-old concepts."

"When you consider the breaking functions, the suspension and steering in vehicles that are built with similar designs to the past." He continued, "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."

A "truly flat platform for maximum efficiency"

Simply said, REE are reinventing the way vehicles are built. 

A Company Builds New and Fully Flat Platform for Electric and Autonomous Vehicles
Cycling art, energy, and locomotion: a series of remarks on the development of bicycles, tricycles, and man-motor carriages (1889). Source: Internet Book Archive Images/Flickr

Going into more detail, and as per their press release, "REE's technology integrates the motors, steering, suspension, drivetrain, sensing, brakes, thermal systems and power management into the wheel creating a completely flat modular chassis."

The result?

Improved efficiency and performance in the electrification process, and a big step forward in the development of future mobility. 

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The chassis, or platform, offers ultimate freedom of design and different body configurations on one singular platform. This reduces the weight by 33 percent, and the size of the vehicle, enabling a higher load per ride. 

A Company Builds New and Fully Flat Platform for Electric and Autonomous Vehicles
REE options. Source: REE

This also increases the energy and operational efficiency, as the chassis frees up space by 67 percent, according to Barel. 

All of these changes increase the level of efficiency of the vehicle, and in turn, its electrification process, as the strain on the batteries is reduced, and the power of the vehicle lasts longer. 

All crucial aspects for electric and autonomous vehicles. 

"One size fits all"

Be it a 10-ton cross-country truck, or a robotaxi, the platform fits all types of electric vehicles. 

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Specifically built to be tailored to each and every vehicle type, REE's innovative platform will work for all automakers, mobility providers, and delivery companies. 

A Company Builds New and Fully Flat Platform for Electric and Autonomous Vehicles
Daniel Barel, CEO and co-founder of SoftWheel and REE. Source: SoftWheel

REE's technology has meant that they have created the basis for all vehicles. 

How have they done it?

By building an innovative quad-motor system, active height-leveling suspension, steer-by-wire, and a smart quad-gear box -- all into just one platform.

So, if you'd like to fit it to your sports car that goes from 0-60 mph in under 3 seconds, or if you're more of an off-road SUV type, you're set so long as it's a non-emission vehicle.

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A Company Builds New and Fully Flat Platform for Electric and Autonomous Vehicles
REE Wheel Labeled. Source: REE

As Barel told Interesting Engineering, "REE's modular chassis, which is the world's first truly and fully flat skateboard chassis, serves all EV (electric vehicle) configurations - big or small, fast or heavy, without any compromise on performance, safety, serviceability, or comfort, meeting and beating all of today's industry standards."

Barel continued "As an agnostic platform our solution is compatible with any non-emission clean vehicle."

How will this technology benefit the automotive industry?

To begin with, electric vehicles will undoubtedly be a significant, if not most important, part of the future of mobility. Already, automotive manufacturers and companies are investing time and energy into improving this section of the industry. 

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"It is clear the path to autonomous vehicles is intertwined with the electrification of vehicles," as Barel said. 

A Company Builds New and Fully Flat Platform for Electric and Autonomous Vehicles
Parking designated for electric vehicles. Source: Noya Fields/Flickr

Thus, REE's universal platform will be able to replace the multiple ones that OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) are creating and using -- and save the industry billions of dollars.

Typically, the validation and creation of one platform costs manufacturers $20 billion, so with simply one platform being used in the future, costs will drastically drop. 

On top of this safety, performance, and efficiency will be improved. Sounds like a no-brainer. 

A Company Builds New and Fully Flat Platform for Electric and Autonomous Vehicles
REE wheel. Source: REE

REE already has contracts with leading OEMs and Tier-1 and Tier-2 automotive companies such as Mistubishi Corporation, Mushashi, Linamar, Tenneco, and NXP. 

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The cost of these chassis' is yet to be disclosed, but we'll bet that in the long run, they'll keep manufacturing costs at an all-time low. 

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