Powered by REE: a T&BB interview with EV “disruptor” REE Automotive


By Bradley Osborne - 14th May 2024

Powered by REE: a T&BB interview with EV “disruptor” REE Automotive

Assembly stations inside REE's engineering centre at MIRA Technology Park

Israel / UK / USA – Redesign, reinvent, reimagine: whole new ways of approaching the old problems of engineering and producing a saleable vehicle are encapsulated in two letters, ‘re–’, a tiny prefix which carries a lot of semantic weight. It was while mulling over the possibilities of “redesigning”, “reinventing”, and “reimagining” the traditional business model that co-founder and CEO Daniel Barel came up with the name REE Automotive for his startup firm, originally established in 2011 and now a public company with business premises in Israel, the UK, and the USA. The company name is pronounced ‘ree’, not ‘arr ee ee’ as I had thought, nor ‘arr three ee’, another common mispronunciation (based on the stylised letters in the logo) according to Kim Mathers, VP of Product Marketing & Strategy. While REE has raised considerable sums of money, its footprint is small, and will remain so for the foreseeable. Instead, the company is aiming to have, like the prefix ‘re–’, a small presence and a big impact.

Today, REE is selling two vehicles in the American market: a chassis cab called ‘P7-C’, a stripped chassis called ‘P7-S’. These are based on the ‘P7’ vehicle platform, a “skateboard” chassis with integrated electric powertrain designed for Class 3-5 (i.e., 4.5-8.8t GVW) applications. Surprisingly, REE never set out to be a vehicle manufacturer, and the models that are now in the hands of customers are simply a means to a more ambitious end. Peter Dow, VP of Engineering, told Truck & Bus Builder that REE’s real aim is not to sell lots of vehicles, but to get its technology into every truck, regardless of the brand. “We don’t want to be the badge on the front,” Dow said, drawing a parallel with multinational tech firm Intel, whose microprocessors are installed in nearly every personal computer sold today. Just as most computers have “Intel inside”, so Dow envisages most electric trucks in the future will be “powered by REE”. 

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