Ree Automotive’s Revolutionary 4-Corner Technology to Redefine The Future of EV Truck Architecture – Here’s How!

Israeli Start-Up Ree Automotive Sees Incentives as Pathway to Medium-Duty EV Market

The Market and Incentives

TEL AVIV, Israel — Ree Automotive, an Israeli start-up, is eyeing up the competitive market for electric vehicles (EVs) and sees government incentives as their pathway to grabbing a foothold. The company’s innovative design is capturing the attention of US truck dealers. Ree Automotive is avoiding the consumer arena and aiming their efforts to the medium-duty commercial vehicle sector. As truck incentives do not have the same US origin content restrictions as consumer autos, most of an electric vehicle’s cost can be covered.

Various incentives are available, such as a $40,000 federal credit for the type of truck Ree hopes to produce. California’s incentives start at $60,000, while states like Massachusetts, New York, and New Jersey also have large purchase incentives for zero-emission vehicles.

Experts believe midsize commercial vehicles are a prime area for electrification. Medium-duty trucks are often used for delivering food and consumer goods, travel predictably and shorter routes, which make them ideal for electrification. The North American Council for Freight Efficiency estimates sales of Class 3-5, or midsize, commercial vehicles in the US, average about 192,000 trucks annually and are growing due to e-commerce. California’s Advanced Clean Fleets regulation approved earlier this year, to push the transition to zero-emission trucks, will be a significant market driver for Ree’s P7-B box truck. Fifteen states and the District of Columbia plan to follow all or some of California’s truck regulations.

The Technology Behind the Ree P7-B Box Truck

Ree’s first product will be the P7-B box truck, which targets the core of the medium-duty electric market. It has a novel wheel-based drive system called Reecorner that provides its selling point. Each corner has an electric motor, steering, braking, and suspension components packaged into a module positioned between the chassis and the wheel. The system is controlled by wire, and while similar to how commercial aircraft operate, the technology is scaled and modified for everyday drivers, making it a game-changer.

The Reecorner modules allow for a flat skateboard platform, creating a low step-in height with more room for cargo or passengers if used as a shuttle. The vehicle has significantly more agility, particularly useful for dense urban environments, than other commercial vehicles. It has a 39-foot turning circle and offers customers a 150-mile range with up to a 7,000-pound payload. The modular design also makes servicing the vehicle quicker and easier. Technicians can swap out a module in about an hour, limiting the time the truck would be out of service, a key metric for commercial vehicle operators.

Plan for Production

Ree demonstrated the technology for guests at its headquarters in Israel during the EcoMotion conference, a week-long series of events focusing on automotive technology. Ree has a plant in Coventry, England, where it will launch production this year. They anticipate assembling up to 20,000 vehicles annually, working two shifts at the factory.

As Ree Automotive is a start-up and rapidly burning through cash reserves, success is not assured. The company anticipates operating expenses of $70 million to $75 million this year. However, it ended the first quarter with liquidity of $126 million, made up of cash, cash equivalents, and short-term investments, with no debt. Ree is going to require more cash, and it estimates ramping production to the thousands will require $80 million to $100 million. The company said in its first-quarter report that it will explore options for raising debt or equity in the right form, all in line with the progress of its business cycle and needs.

Ree is recruiting independent truck dealers to build its distribution network. Tom’s Truck Centers, with stores in Santa Ana and Santa Fe Springs, Calif., is among the first eight. KC Heidler, CEO of Tom’s Truck Center, sees a market opportunity to help businesses transition to zero-emission vehicles by tapping into federal and state incentives. He’s working with Nikola Corp. and GreenPower Motor Co., among others, constantly getting pitched by green vehicle start-ups. Heidler believes Ree’s edge over other start-ups is that it offers innovative technology that provides an advantage to businesses. The corner technology opens up everything else on the truck for them to design for the customer. Ree is the only company Tom is working with that does not have a product already on the road.

Future Plans

Ree’s goal is to gain market acceptance, scale up and grow. The company also plans to leverage ‘Reecorner’ technology eventually to become a powertrain supplier to vehicle builders, emulating Cummins’ business strategy. Ree could produce its corner modules and the drive-by-wire technology which legacy vehicle manufacturers could integrate into their products, ideally being a sub-brand like ‘Powered by Ree, just like ‘Intel Inside’. However, vehicle makers are often slow to move and can be conservative and unlikely to launch such a product line until the technology is proved. Ree’s strategy is to get their trucks into the market and demonstrate the technology’s strengths to gain enough acceptance. The strong demand for medium-duty electric trucks, combined with the federal and state purchase incentives, gives Ree the latitude to pursue its strategy.

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