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A Week in European Automotive: Startups Reinventing the Car

European auto startups are putting a complete car platform in a wheel and solving last mile delivery with autonomous vehicle.

eetasia.com, Jul. 10, 2019 – 

"We're disrupting the automotive industry!" That's a common claim from many briefings we get from emerging startups. Last week was not unusual – one told us how they've solved the challenge of producing roadworthy autonomous delivery vehicles for last mile delivery; another has 'reimagined' the vehicle by integrating all the components found under the hood of a car into the wheel.

Both are at early stages; both claim investment interest from retailers and Tier 1s in the automotive manufacturing supply chain.

A Modular EV Platform, All Built into The Wheel

Israeli startup REE, which came out of stealth mode today, has a flat and modular platform that fundamentally changes the way electric vehicles (EVs) will be built. The company integrates all of the components formerly found under the hood into the wheel. It says it offers optimal freedom of design, and the potential for multiple body configurations on a single platform.

Putting the motor, steering, suspension, drivetrain, sensing, brakes, thermal systems and electronics in the wheel leaves a 'flat' platform. This provides a low center of gravity to maximize efficiency and supports the vehicle's agility and stability. The design also drastically reduces its footprint, weight, and improves both energy-efficiency and performance – aspects crucial for electric and autonomous vehicle development.

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