REE, the automotive EV startup company from Israel that signed an MoU with Mahindra in August, has shown three next-gen EV platform prototypes on the track. These prototypes are operational and give a peek into the company’s upcoming electric delivery vehicles, which Mahindra could manufacture in India for local and global market consumption.
The next-gen REE EV platforms are called P1, P2 and P4, and they illustrate the company’s expertise in X-by-Wire technology. The REE P1 platform offers load up to 1.3-tonne GVW and is suited for LSV last-mile inner-city deliveries. The REE P2 platform can handle up to 2.5-tonne GVW and is purposed for the transport of both cargo and passengers.
The REE P4 platform is the pinnacle of REE’s work, capable of handling 4.5-tonne GVW. The company says that it has developed this platform mainly for the delivery segment in the North American market. This platform has a low step height and is built for more volume, 1-tonne payload and extended range.
The futuristic REE EV platforms incorporate X-by-Wire technology. The parts for steering, braking, motor and suspension are housed in the arch of the wheel. This allows constructing the chassis in a fully-flat form, and so, the customers can go for a body of any shape or size on the top. REE says that its modular platform technology is also autonomous-ready, and thus, these platforms are future-proof in almost every way.
Production from 2021
Last month, a report from reuters.com suggested that Israel’s REE Automotive may launch electric vehicles manufactured by Mahindra & Mahindra at the end of 2021 or in early 2022. The company’s CEO Daniel Barel has told the business publication that it aims to start using its platform in Q4 2021 (October-December 2021) but did not specify the manufacturing partner.
Barel said that REE Automotive is forming collaboration contracts with “a majority of the market” and hinted that it will make more announcements very soon. Keren Shemesh, the company’s Chief Marketing Officer, said that it is possible to use its technology in trucks of up to 12 tonnes.
It was in August that the Mahindra Group’s auto subsidiary signed a memorandum of understanding with Israel’s REE Automotive, exploring a partnership for designing and manufacturing modular electric vehicles in India.
REE Automotive is a start-up from Israel that has developed a futuristic urban mobility electric vehicle platform family. It needs to outsource the manufacturing of 2,00,000-2,50,000 units of this model over a few years, and that’s where Mahindra & Mahindra comes in. It wants to leverage the Indian company’s engineering, sourcing and product development prowess as well.
The main innovation of REE Automotive is its EV corner module and platform technology that combines powertrain, suspension and steering components in the arch of the wheels. A full skateboard platform and wheels with in-axle motor provide a high level of flexibility.
REE Air, Share & Bolder EVs demonstrated on the skateboard architecture
Depending on the requirement, REE Automotive can launch EVs with multiple top hats with a similar, cost-effective package underneath. The company can make passenger cars, taxis, shuttles, last-mile delivery vehicles, mid-duty delivery trucks and commercial vehicles. It shows three examples in the video above, called Ree Air, Ree Share and Ree Bolder.
The Ree Air is a delivery vehicle providing maximum storage volume. It has two electric motors that generate 60 kW at the rear and they can use either a low-voltage, 48V battery or a high-voltage, 400-volt battery. The range is up to 250 km (156 miles).
The Ree Share, as the name suggests, is a ride-sharing shuttle service EV. It has two electric motors with a power of 100 kW at the rear. There are two battery options: 400V and 600V. The range is up to 400 km (250 miles).
The Ree Bolder can have two or four electric motors, with up to 180 kW of power. A 400V or 600V high-voltage battery provides juice to these motors and gives a range of 200 km (125 miles)/450 km (281 miles).
Mahindra & Mahindra manufacturing the REE Automotive EVs does not necessarily mean that these models will see an Indian launch. Firstly, the collaboration is yet to finalise, and we have no reason to believe that it wouldn’t as the Indian company already has businesses for manufacturing EVs that are export-only such as the Peugeot E-Ludix.