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Israeli startup reinventing how cars are built

Source: Israel21c

REE’s innovative modular platform houses all of a car’s major components – brakes, thermal systems, motor and drivetrain – next to the wheels.

Technology entrepreneurs delight in disrupting established industries, from textiles to healthcare to agriculture.

Changes in automotive manufacturing have been tougher to sell because no matter how many computers are put under the hood, the cars themselves “are still being built on 100-year-old concepts,” Daniel Barel, CEO of Israeli automotive startup REE, tells ISRAEL21c.

REE aims to bring the vehicle’s very design into the 21st century. Gone is the engine in front and the traditional mechanics around steering columns, suspension, transmission and more.

Instead, REE has invented a modular platform that looks a bit like the hoverboards you see young people gliding around town on: a flat panel the company calls a “skateboard chassis” that houses the car’s major components – including brakes, thermal systems, motor and drivetrain – right next to the wheels.

It’s no exaggeration that the company’s technology “reinvents the wheel” because it fundamentally changes how vehicles are built.

Barel and the REE team worked on their concept for six years under the radar. “We made the strategic decision to remain in stealth until our technology was ready to be presented and our go-to-market strategy was in place,” Barel told ISRAEL21c in July.

Key to that market strategy is cost. A single REE platform can be used for multiple types of vehicles – from a high-performance car able to do 0-60 in under three seconds to a 10-ton truck.

“The design and validation of each platform traditionally costs manufacturers billions of dollars,” Barel says. By re-using the same design, the cost savings should be substantial.

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