Mahindra Partners with Integrated EV Platform Developer for Commercial Vehicles
India’s Mahindra & Mahindra has signed a memorandum of understanding with Tel Aviv-based startup Ree Automotive to develop and produce electric commercial vehicles using the Israel company’s chassis technology.
The partners didn’t provide a timeline for the program.
Integrated Wheel Module
The Mahindra EVs will use Ree’s skateboard platform and integrated corner module. The latter houses electric drivetrain, sensors, controllers and other components into each wheel well.
Integrated corner module (Image: Ree Automotive)
The design, which is said to be one-third lighter and has a two-thirds smaller footprint than other skateboard-type EV platforms, includes:
- By-wire braking and steering
- Fully sprung electric motors
- High-powered ECUs
- Artificial intelligence-based preventive maintenance algorithms
- Over-the-air software updating capability
Each corner is completely independent and powered by its own ECU.
Mahindra will provide its vehicle design, engineering, manufacturing and supplier logistics expertise.
Ree says the modular platform can be used for a wide variety of vehicles, ranging in size from relatively small city cars and last-mile delivery vehicles to shuttle vans and medium-duty commercial trucks.
Ree/Mahindra commercial EV platform
The Mahindra partnership is expected to help Ree achieve economies of scale for the technology. On the commercial vehicle side, Ree aims to eventually surpass 200,000 units per year.
Mahindra, which is India’s second-largest vehicle maker behind Tata, already has several EV initiatives. Last year, the company announced plans to more than quadruple production of such vehicles to 70,000 units per year by 2023.
The carmaker also has a Formula E race team and owns Automobili Pininfarina, which recently launched the 1,900-hp Battista electric hypercar.
The collaboration with Ree is Mahindra’s first electrification efforts for its commercial vehicle business.
Mercedes has been putting diesels in vehicles since 1926. It has been offering them in the U.S. since 1949. And 2013 is seeing a range of offerings, including in its popular GLK SUV.
Although the term “continuous improvement” is generally associated with another company, Honda is certainly pursuing that approach, as is evidenced by the Accord, which is now in its ninth generation.
GM gives its mid-size pickup customers what they’ve been clamoring for, a clean and quiet, high-torque, fuel-efficient diesel.