REE Automotive (REE), an e-mobility company, has revealed five new architectures for its REEcorner modules, designed to support a broad range of commercial electric vehicles. REEcorner technology packages critical vehicle components – including steering, braking, suspension, powertrain and control – into a single compact module positioned between the chassis and the wheel, enabling a fully flat EV platform with a low centre of gravity.
The flat platform also opens up design opportunities for vehicles that can carry more passengers, cargo and batteries than conventional vehicle designs, especially as the low centre of gravity also helps enable a compact footprint, allow for taller cabin designs and a lower step-in height.
The latter points have clear benefits for the commercial vehicle sector, for which volumetric efficiency is critical. The REEcorners enable the EV platform size to be customised, based on preferred length, width and vehicle height. Customers can also select front, rear or all-wheel-drive; peak motor power ranges of 35 to 200kW; front or all-wheel steer; advanced suspension capabilities; payload capacities of up to 5,000kg and more. REE claim that its EV platform can offer up to 35% more interior space than comparable conventionally-powered commercial vehicles of similar size.
For example, Mobility-as-a-Service providers might wish to build front-wheel-drive e-shuttles with maximum payload capacity for transporting passengers with minimal kWh consumption. Logistics companies may prefer low-speed, all-wheel drive, all-wheel steer REEcorner configurations with 360° all-side accessibility for last-mile deliveries, with low step-in-height and minimum turning radius for easy manoeuvreability in congested urban streets.
Ahishay Sardes, co-founder and CTO of REE, explains the technology: “Unlike in-wheel motor systems, the motors in REEcorners are fully sprung masses, positioned on the chassis side of the suspension. By minimising unsprung mass, REEcorners are designed for optimal ride and handling vehicle dynamics. REE’s plan to utilise true x-by-wire technology to control each of the corners of the vehicles with full drive-by-wire, brake-by-wire and steer-by-wire technology is expected to deliver vehicle stability, responsiveness and safety, with fully independent wheel control.”