Israeli electric vehicle technology developer REE Automotive (REE) is to set up a £92m (€106m) Engineering Centre of Excellence in the UK for its skateboard system.
The new Engineering Centre at MIRA in Warwickshire will employ up to 200 engineers on the design, validation, verification and testing of the REEcorner and Electric Vehicle (EV) skateboard platform technology. This approach combines all the power, motors and electronics in the chassis so that vehicles can be more easily assembled. This skateboard approach is also used by vehicle makers such as Canoo and Rivian as well as Sony and contract manufacturer Foxxconn.
The key to the proprietary REEcorner X-by-wire technology is that all the critical vehicle components, from the steering and braking to the suspension, powertrain and control, is built into the arch of the wheel. This allows a completely flat and modular electric chassis and provides customers with full design freedom to create the broadest range of electric and autonomous vehicles.
REE has a CapEx-light manufacturing model with plans for a network of 15 integration centres to assemble the components of the platform. The first one is set to open in the US in 2021. REE plans to manufacture via a secured and exclusive global network of Tier 1 partners in over 30 countries, with point-of-sale assembly.
REE will also have access to the test facilities and a proving ground for physical testing and validation of the REEcorner and EV platform at the MIRA Technology Park in the UK which is also home to 35 Tier One automtive suppliers.
“I am excited to announce another major milestone for REE towards bringing our technology and products to the market as we expand our global footprint,” said Daniel Barel, REE’s Co-Founder and CEO. “With the recent announcement that we plan to go public via a SPAC through our merger with 10X Capital Venture Acquisition Corp. and funding from long-term strategic investors including Koch Strategic Platforms, Mahindra & Mahindra and Magna International, REE would have sufficient capital to accelerate mass production of REEcorner technology and modular EV platforms. The first REEcorners are expected to be delivered to customers in 2022, with mass production beginning in 2023. This new Engineering Centre is a state-of-the-art facility allowing us to accelerate our validation, verification and testing as well as product homologation.”
The $3.1bn reverse merger announced earlier this month is set to raise $500m for development. The company says it has pipeline of $5bn of orders to 2026 for the skateboard platform.
“A key driver in our decision to establish our presence in the UK is the UK government’s forward-thinking vision and zero-emissions policy that perfectly aligns with REE’s goal of heralding a more sustainable, greener future for our generation and those to come,” said Mike Charlton, REE’s COO, who is responsible for the launch.
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