Ree Automotive invests in UK engineering centre
The Israeli electric mobility startup Ree Automotive is investing 92 million US dollars in a new ‘Engineering Centre of Excellence’ in England, at MIRA Technology Park in Warwickshire.
The company announced its IPO on the US stock exchange a few days ago and wants to accelerate the development, testing and homologation of its space-saving architecture for electric cars. This will create 200 jobs at the new site in England over the next few years, according to the Israeli startup. Co-founder and CEO Daniel Barel described the new facility in the UK as such: “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 Automotive is launching with an EV platform which the company claims can offer more freedom than those from other 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, meaning both inside the wheel itself as well as within the wheel housing. Ree calls this approach “REEcorners”, referring to the four corners of the vehicle’s underbody.
Another advantage provided by this modular setup is maintenance: the wheel hub systems can be replaced entirely in just 18 minutes, potentially reducing the time needed to fix or maintain key systems by a significant margin, according to Ree.
England is also not the only location where the startup is eyeing development and production capacities, as Ree Automotive also announced plans to build a network of 15 ‘integration centres’ around the world, the first of which is due to open in the USA this year. The company also has plans to manufacture through partners including American Axle, Mahindra and KYB across 30 countries.
The financial scope for these next steps is to be provided by the move on the US stock exchange. To this end, as mentioned above, Ree merged with the SPAC company 10X Capital Venture Acquisition Corporation. The transaction is expected to be completed by the end of the first half of 2021 and provide the Israeli startup with a capital increase of around 500 million US dollars. This sum includes a capital increase in the form of a PIPE (“Private Investment in Public Equity”) of 300 million dollars, in which investors such as Mahindra & Mahindra, Koch Strategic Platforms and Magna International participated.