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7.15.19
Mod Squad

Startup Thinks Its Modular Car Design Is the Future of EVs

July 11th 19__Kristin Houser__Filed Under: Advanced Transport
REE/Victor Tangermann

Reinventing the Wheel

Today’s electric vehicles aren’t terribly different, design-wise, from their combustion engine counterparts — with rare exception, you’re likely to find the motor, transmission, and other drive components all under the hood.

Israeli startup REE, however, decided to take a completely different approach to designing EVs — putting everything typically found under the hood of a car into its wheels.

“Until now, the industry has operated by making incremental improvements on the traditional design of the automotive vehicle,” REE CEO Daniel Barel said in a press release. “At REE, we believe that in order to hasten the automotive revolution we need to reinvent the wheel — quite literally.”

Solid Foundation

The modular car platform REE unveiled at the TechCrunch Mobility event on Wednesday doesn’t look so much like an electric vehicle as it does a large skateboard — and that’s a major part of its appeal.

The idea is that an automaker could build any type of electric vehicle — from a golf cart to a pickup truck — right on top of the modular car platform.

“The single biggest expenditure for an OEM auto manufacturer is the platform, developing and validating it,” Barel told New Atlas. “It costs billions, it takes years… We went in and said ‘what if you might need only one? That might be worth something.'”

READ MORE: REE re-invents the wheel, and plans a complete disruption of the auto industry [New Atlas]

More on modular cars: Op-Ed: Lego-Like Customization Will Give Us Autonomous Vehicles We Never Imagined