Currently reading: UK government to invest £12.5 million in Israeli EV start-up REE
MIRA-based electric vehicle platform maker was awarded the sum as part of the UK's ambition to accelerate the shift to zero-emission vehicles

A company that constructs modular electric vehicle (EV) platforms will receive £12.5 million in funding from the UK government as part of the country’s bid to speed the shift to zero-emission vehicles and decarbonise transport networks. 

The figure forms part of a £41.2 million total investment coordinated through the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC), a non-profit organisation that supports funding to UK-based research and development projects that intend to produce low-carbon-emissions powertrain technologies. 

REE was selected for the investment along with three other projects that together could contribute to saving almost 32 million tonnes of carbon emissions, equal to the lifetime tailpipe emissions figures of 1.3 million cars. The firm says the investment will drive energy-saving technology across a range of vehicles and support a green economy recovery, with investment going towards its MIRA-based REEcorner facility. 

“With the opening of our Engineering Centre in the UK in February this year, this reaffirms our commitment to the region and is in line with our plans for the mass production of our breakthrough REEcorner and electric vehicle platform technology,” said Mike Charlton, REE’s COO.

“The UK is an ideal location for a pioneering automotive company like REE thanks to the country’s commitment to vehicle electrification, which dovetails with our vision of propelling a zero-emissions, greener future for our generation and those to come,” Charlton added. 

The firm recently announced it would 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 centre 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.

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REE claims that these can be replaced entirely in under an hour, 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 gives 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 Charlton. “That perfectly aligns with REE's goal of heralding a more sustainable, greener future for our generation and those to come.”

REE said the first of its technologies will be delivered to customers by 2022.


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jason_recliner 16 February 2021

BDS, Baby.