Reimagining the electric vehicle with flat platforms

July 20, 2019 //By Murray Slovick
electric vehicle
The future looks bright for electric vehicles (EVs) despite the fact that each platform can cost manufacturers billions to design, test, and build. What’s more, carmakers often struggle to recoup these costs through pricing alone, as EVs are still built in low numbers compared to ICE vehicles. Thus, cost amortization is higher per unit.

Nevertheless, carmakers plan to grow their portfolio of electrified vehicles and they have a tailwind: Stringent fuel-economy and emissions policies are a big stimuli for OEM EV investments.

Fig. 1: REE’s flat, modular platform trims EV footprint
and weight. (Source: REE)

But can the development costs inherent in designing and building an EV be reduced? Israeli startup REE thinks so—the company has unveiled a flat, modular reference platform aimed at decreasing both the design effort and cost of manufacturing EVs (Fig. 1).

REE’s approach strategically places the motor, steering, suspension, drivetrain, sensing, brakes, thermal systems, and electronics into the wheels (Fig. 2), creating a truly flat platform.

Fig. 2: The motor, steering, suspension, brakes, and
electronics are all placed into the wheel. (Source: REE).

This design provides a low center of gravity to maximize efficiency and supports the vehicle’s agility and stability. REE’s innovation reduces the vehicle’s footprint and weight, and improves both energy efficiency and performance—aspects crucial to the electric- and autonomous-vehicle revolution.
REE’s EV platform also enables better packaging of interior cabin space, motors, and battery packs without compromising safety.

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