The company behind a new modular electric vehicle (EV) platform is to open a facility at the MIRA Technology Park in Warwickshire, creating 200 highly skilled jobs.
REE, which is based in Israel, will invest $92 million (£66 million) in its new Engineering Centre of Excellence as it ramps up plans to establish a network of 15 integration centres around the world. The first is due to open in the US later in 2021.
“I’m excited to announce another major milestone for REE towards bringing our technology and products to the market as we expand our global footprint,” said the company’s co-founder and CEO Daniel Barel. “This new engineering center is a state-of-the-art facility allowing us to accelerate our validation, verification and testing, as well as product homologation.”
REE has developed a new type of EV platform that it claims can offer more freedom than those being pioneered by mainstream manufacturers. The platform can accommodate a fully flat floor, while the motor, suspension, steering and braking are all fitted within individual units on each wheel corner.
REE claims that these can be replaced entirely in just 18 minutes, potentially reducing the time needed to fix or maintain key systems by a significant margin. It also says the “unique” design can be scaled to any size, affording more space inside vehicles for passengers, cargo or battery units.
The base at MIRA Technology Park will give REE access to a proving ground for testing, with assembly set to take place at each of its integration centres. REE also plans to manufacture through partners such as American Axle, Mahindra and KYB across 30 countries.
The UK is set to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles in 2030, although some hybrids will be allowed to remain on sale until 2035. Most manufacturers have announced a range of battery-electric vehicles set to arrive before the 2030 deadline to join those already on sale.
“A key driver in our decision to establish our presence in the UK is the UK government’s forward-thinking vision and zero-emissions policy,” said REE COO Mike Charlton. “That perfectly aligns with REE’s goal of heralding a more sustainable, greener future for our generation and those to come.”
REE said that the first of its technologies will be delivered to customers by 2022.