Wheel reinvented: automated/electric vehicles to benefit

Israeli start-up company Ree has unveiled and made claims of what it describes as a revolutionary flat and modular platform which fundamentally changes the way electric vehicles are built to power widespread vehicle electrification. By integrating all of the components formerly found under the hood of the car into the wheel, Ree says it offers optimal freedom of design, multiple body configurations on a single platform, reduced vehicle size and weight, and increased energy and operational efficiency.

The skeptics are plentiful, but the company says that its unique approach strategically places the motor, steering, suspension, drivetrain, sensing, brakes, thermal systems and electronics into the wheel, creating a truly flat platform. This design provides a low centre of gravity to maximise efficiency and supports the vehicle’s agility and stability. Ree’s innovation drastically reduces a vehicle’s footprint, weight, and improves both energy efficiency and performance – aspects crucial to the electric and autonomous vehicle revolution.

Rees platform provides automakers, mobility providers and delivery companies a tailor-made solution. 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 able to do 0-60 mph 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.

“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, co-founder and ceo of Ree.

The adaptation of Ree’s universal framework will replace multiple platforms for OEMs resulting in substantial savings. The design and validation of each platform traditionally costs manufacturers billions. By enabling them to utilise one platform for all of their vehicles, costs will be slashed, while performance, safety, comfort and energy efficiency will all be drastically improved.

Ree says it 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 among others.

In a release, Ree says Mitsubishi Corporation commented, “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.”

Watch this space.