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Israel’s Ree Auto reinvents EV truck design with 4-corner technology

Ree’s first product will be the P7-B box truck targeting the core of the mid-duty electric market.

KC Heidler, CEO of Tom’s Truck Center, a two-store chain based in Santa Ana, Calif., said the selling point is a new wheel-based drive system called Lee Corner.

Each corner has an electric motor, as well as steering, braking and suspension components packaged in modules placed between the chassis and the wheels. According to Ree co-founder and CEO Daniel Burrell, the system will be controlled by wire, similar to how commercial airliners operate, but scaled for everyday drivers rather than skilled pilots. has been expanded and improved.

This module allows for a flat skateboard platform, lower step-in height, and more space for luggage and passengers when used as a shuttle. The vehicle is significantly more agile than other commercial vehicles, which is especially useful in dense urban environments. The turning radius is 39 feet.

The truck matches the drive cycle of a box truck and offers a range of 150 miles with a payload capacity of up to 7,000 pounds. Burrell said the vehicle’s architecture allows for larger battery packs and longer range, but customers don’t need or want to pay for that extra functionality.

The system is easy to service. A technician can replace a module in about an hour, limiting truck downtime, a key metric for commercial vehicle users, he said.

Lee on Monday demonstrated its technology to guests at its headquarters during Ecomotion, a series of conferences and week-long events focused on Israeli automotive technology.

Lee has a factory in Coventry, England, and plans to start production this year. Burrell said Lee could work two shifts at the factory and assemble up to 20,000 vehicles a year.

When the company released its first-quarter results on Tuesday, Mr. Lee said the company had an order for 100 trucks. The company has set a production target of a few hundred units in 2024 and a low to mid-thousand units by the end of 2025.

Ree is looking for independent truck dealers to build its distribution network. Tom’s Truck Center, with stores in Santa Ana and Santa Fe Springs, Calif., is one of his first eight stores.

Heidler said he sees a market opportunity to help companies transition their vehicles to ZEVs using federal and state incentives. He has worked with companies such as Nikola and Green Power Motors, and is constantly getting pitches from green automotive start-ups.

“Most companies will either go out of business or be merged with another company within two to three years. There is,” said Heidler. car news.

One problem, Heidler said, is that few companies offer innovative technology that benefits them. They usually have similar conventional designs, he said.

However, Ree technology has advantages that may make it viable.

“In commercial spaces, it’s all about weight and space,” Heidler said. “Corner technology enables everything else on the track and allows us to design for our customers.”

Of the companies Toms works with, Lee is the only company that has not yet launched a product, he said. Israel’s Ree Auto reinvents EV truck design with 4-corner technology

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