Israeli startup REE Automotive aims to change the way the industry designs electric vehicles by tightly packaging the wheel, suspension, steering and electric motor into a wire-controlled device. The goal of the REEcorner is to free up space in an EV for cargo and passengers. The company recently added an engineering center in the UK, where it will also build a so-called “practice factory” to hone production ahead of opening its first assembly center in Austin, Texas, in mid-2022. Flush with money since it completed a reverse merger with special acquisition company 10X Capital Venture Acquisition in July, REE wants to offer complete vehicles without becoming a vehicle manufacturer. REE CEO Daniel Barel, who was named an Automotive News Europe Rising Star in 2021, outlined his plans in an interview with ANE Correspondent Nick Gibbs.
Which companies have signed contracts to buy the REEcorner?
We work with everybody. With Toyota [specifically, its truck and bus unit Hino]. We work with [U.S. commercial vehicle body maker] JP Poindexter, Magna International and many others, including a very large logistics company. In terms of demand, we have 20 future programs planned, five of which are full agreements.