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EAVX and REE Automotive to begin customer evaluations of new electric walk-in van; REE P7 platform

EAVX, a subsidiary of JB Poindexter & Co (JBPCO), and REE Automotive, an automotive technology leader and provider of electric vehicle platforms, announced that the companies’ new fully electric walk-in van (WIV) prototype will begin customer evaluation this summer. The Class 5 vehicle marks the debut of the EAVX body design powered by REE’s modular P7 platform (earlier post), making it the first fully drive-by-wire walk-in van on the market.

Evaluations of the new electric walk-in van will take place over several weeks in the Detroit metropolitan area. The pre-booked event will allow pipeline customers across retail, delivery and logistics segments to experience the vehicle, its technology, and secure production capacity on the path for 2023 deliveries.

The walk-in van body is a new, ground up development and will be showcased for the first time on the REE P7 platform, which was unveiled in January 2022. The platform is intended to power Class 3-5 vehicles with payloads up to 8,800 pounds and range of 370 miles, along with all-wheel steering, all-wheel drive, and autonomous-ready capabilities.

The vehicle is designed to provide unique user benefits, efficiencies, and flexibility that can be scaled across further applications and classes with the modularity and design freedom enabled by REEcorner technology.

The REEcorner packs critical vehicle components (steering, braking, suspension, powertrain and control) into a single compact module positioned between the chassis and the wheel, enabling REE to build fully-flat EV platforms with more room for passengers, cargo and batteries.

REE plans to use its proprietary X-By-Wire control technology to control each REEcorner of the vehicles with full drive-by-wire, brake-by-wire and steer-by-wire capabilities.

The road-testing demonstrates the maturity of the REE-EAVX next-generation modular walk-in van program for the North American delivery market, first announced in July 2021. The prototype body is a step forward in EAVX’s mission to develop next-generation EV and AV powered delivery and work truck bodies and accessories as a business unit of JB Poindexter & Co (JBPCO), which has a leading position in the North American delivery market.

Earlier, REE announced progress towards commercial production, having proven its robotic assembly capabilities—the core of its CapEx-light and highly-automated integration center manufacturing approach. REE plans to implement the cloud-based robotic assembly lines at its network of highly-digitalized global manufacturing plants with the first in its European Integration Center in Coventry, UK.

REE’s Coventry Integration Center will serve customer demand in Europe with an initial focus on the P7 electric platform for commercial vehicles. The Coventry site will also operate as the blueprint for all future REE Integration Centers, with expected capacity of 10,000 vehicle sets (40,000 REEcorners) this year.

The North American Integration Center in Austin, Texas, is expected to double global capacity to 20,000 vehicle sets in 2023 by replicating the highly automated cloud-based architecture of its European sibling.

The company is partnering with industry leaders including Rockwell Automation and Expert Technologies for robotics and automated assembly, with the first assembly line expected to become operational in the second half of 2022.

REE is implementing line-side controls from Rockwell Automation and is creating further efficiencies and savings through the adoption of the Plex Manufacturing Execution System (MES). The Plex cloud-based solution’s ability to deliver full visibility into production operations enables scalable manufacturing locally and across global Integration Centers.

The Integration Center is approximately 130,000 square feet, includes industry 4.0 technologies and will be partially powered by solar energy.

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