REE and Magna to collaborate on modular-electric vehicles

15 April 2021

Electrically-chargeable vehicle (EV) startup REE is entering a collaboration with the automotive supplier Magna. The two companies are looking to bring fully modular-electric vehicles (MEVs) to the market. They see this as fulfilling a growing need of next-generation EV builders by accelerating their time-to-market at scale.

The modular, scalable REEcorner technology focuses on delivering the fundamentals of EV driving. It packs the steering, braking, suspension, powertrain and control components into the wheel arch, providing commercial customers with a blank electric ‘skateboard’ to customise under their own brand specifications. Now, with one of the world’s largest automotive suppliers onside, more carmakers could soon be turning to the ‘Powered by REE’ brand.

Modular Electric Vehicles

The collaboration will explore the combination of the REEcorner technology with Magna’s system-integration expertise and manufacturing capabilities. The pair hope this work will lead to the development of MEVs that commercial customers can customise themselves, while accelerating time-to-market.

‘We are thrilled to reach a collaboration agreement with Magna, which should help put us on the fast track to support a broad range of EVs,’ said Daniel Barel, REE co-founder and CEO. He explained that there is a growing demand for modular EVs from tech companies and new e-mobility players looking to make a name for themselves in the automotive world.

MEVs using the REEcorner technology will have the flexibility to custom-tailor EVs based on: platform size, preferred dimensions, payload capacities, battery capacity, power source, together with drive and steering.

Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS)

REE and Magna are also considering collaborating on a MaaS venture in the light-commercial vehicle sector. This would leverage the startup’s X-by-Wire REEcorner and EV platform technology as well as Magna’s industrial capabilities.

‘The evolving mobility landscape is opening new business model opportunities for Magna with our systems capability and unique ability to design, engineer and assemble vehicles,’ said Eric Wilds, chief sales and marketing officer at Magna. ‘We are excited about our collaboration with REE and our ability to offer another capability to support potential new customers and Mobility-as-a-Service.’

REE’s technology will enable the creation of MEVs with maximum payload capacity for transporting passengers and cargo as well as the lowest total cost of ownership (TCO). The startup explains that MEVs are designed with a lower centre of gravity than vehicles powered by a motor that sits between the wheels. This means taller cabins, a lower step-in height and more cargo capacity than conventional platforms. In a delivery van, MEVs ‘Powered by REE’ could deliver more per kWh, improving operational benefits for customers such as tech companies and new e-mobility players.