Israeli tech and e-mobility company Ree Automotive has announced plans to open its U.S. headquarters in Austin, Texas.
Ree have developed a flat “skateboard” chassis EV design that promises to offer an adaptable take on electric vehicles. The company decided to set up shop stateside in order to cater to demand within the growing U.S. market, specifically centered around “mission specific” EVs such as those used in delivery.
The Austin base will see Ree assemble and test its “REEcorner tech” vehicles, as well as its ultra-modular concepts. The Austin facility is expected to create 150 jobs over the next few years and will boast an annual capacity of 40,000 modular platform EVs by 2022.
REEcorner’s tech approach is to offer pre-packaged componentry such as steering, braking, powertrain, and control, into one sellable unit that can be customized for specific use cases.
The concept is reminiscent of GM’s AUTOnomy concept. Like the REEcorner approach, GM’s forgotten concept used drive-by-wire tech to simplify use in various applications, once again becoming a literal skateboard off of which anything else could be placed upon. It’s also a similar ethos that multiple carmakers are beginning to adopt as EVs and autonomy begin to come to the fore, with VW’s MEB platform and Kia’s E-GMP architecture adopting a similar approach.
Ree will aim to use its scalable tech to get to market first, as it says it aims to tap a market worth $700 billion, comprising of everyone from OEMs to delivery fleets.
“Establishing our U.S. headquarters in Austin, Texas best positions us for growth and rapid expansion,” said Daniel Barel, REE’s Co-Founder and CEO. “Our U.S. presence will allow us to capitalize on the incredible opportunities in the U.S. market and put us closer to our North American-based customers and partners, including Magna International and JB Poindexter, as we work together to develop and deliver modular EVs.”
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