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REE Automotive announces collaboration with Magna

REE Automotive has announced a “strategic collaboration” with Magna International, which will allow both companies to explore the possibilities of fully modular electric vehicles (MEVs) and bring them to market. According to a press release, these MEVs will be based around the REEcorner technology and will don a “Powered by REE” brand.

REE Automotive is a startup EV technology company based in Tel Aviv, with subsidiaries in the US, UK, and Germany. We’ve previously covered REE in an article highlighting its modular EV platforms and proprietary REEcorners. According to its website, REE has a unique CapEx-light manufacturing model that leverages its Tier 1 partners’ existing production lines.

REE recently announced a SPAC merger with 10X Capital Venture Acquisition Corp. ($VCVC). When the merger is complete, the EV platform manufacturer plans to list on the NASDAQ as $REE. The startup hopes the $500 million in gross proceeds will accelerate the mass production of its REEcorners and platforms, currently set for 2023. This new collaboration with Magna international should also help expedite REE’s goals.

Magna International is a mobility manufacturer specializing in automotive components. Headquartered in Aurora, Ontario, north of Toronto, it is the largest automotive part supplier in North America and the third-largest in the world. Magna has over 60 years of experience innovating all aspects of vehicles: interior, exterior, electronics, aerodynamics, and autonomy.

The company considers itself “a 64-year-old startup,” so Magna applies its experience with big innovations to a startup mentality. As a result, it has not only found longevity but has remained at the forefront of new technologies thanks to its research and development departments. In the electrification of vehicles especially, Magna is developing unique and scalable solutions that target issues current OEMs face in terms of efficiency and cost.

The company works with long-established OEMs like Jaguar but also new entrants like Fisker. Magna’s robust Rolodex now includes REE Automotive.

REE Magna
One of REE’s modular EV platforms

Magna to develop MEVs “Powered by REE”

According to the press release, both companies are calling the partnership a “strategic collaboration” to combine REE’s REEcorner technology with Magna’s vehicle systems integration expertise and manufacturing capabilities. The goal is to develop MEVs that will allow OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) to customize vehicles based on their specifications and branding.

Magna already caters to some form of manufacturing to nearly every major automaker but hopes to offer even further modular customization options and quicker turnarounds by utilizing the REEcorners. REE Co-Founder and CEO Daniel Barel stated:

We are thrilled to reach a collaboration agreement with Magna, which should help put us on the fast track to support a broad range of electric vehicles (EVs). We see a growing demand for highly modular EVs from leading tech companies and new electric mobility players who have set their sights on entering the EV realm and building a brand in automotive.  REE and Magna working together under the ‘Powered by REE’ approach can help bring their vision to life.

In addition to developing modular electric vehicles, REE and Magna are also huddling on a potential collaboration surrounding a Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) venture for Light Commercial Vehicles (LCVs). Per Eric Wilds, Chief Sales & Marketing Officer of Magna:

The evolving mobility landscape is opening new business model opportunities for Magna with our systems capability and unique ability to design, engineer and assemble vehicles. We are excited about our collaboration with REE and our ability to offer another capability to support potential new customers and Mobility-as-a-Service.

Terms of the collaboration

While the specific OEMs have not yet been disclosed, there are a number of tech companies interested due to the modularity of REE’s EV platforms and REEcorners. REE’s CEO Daniel Barel explained that any vehicle can be made to feature any brand, but it will be “Powered by REE.”

Barel went on to tell Bloomberg that the company has already signed agreements representing orders for around 260,000 vehicles that will utilize the REE platform. We do not yet know other details of the collaboration, such as when production might begin or where, but both companies plan to split the revenues.

Electrek‘s take

This “strategic collaboration” could be a sound strategy for both parties. REE Automotive has some of the most unique and innovative modular technology out there right now but, as a startup, lacks the resources and infrastructure to scale quickly and build vast relationships with OEMs on its B2B model.

Magna, on the other hand, has all of those relationships well established, along with the manufacturing facilities at a large scale. Furthermore, in speaking with Magna for a spotlight piece a few weeks ago, REE Automotive is the exact type of EV innovation they are looking for.

There’s a reason Magna has stayed relevant and successful for so long, and with its foresight into developing new electrified solutions for all types of vehicles, big and small, it will have plenty more customers looking forward. The collaboration with REE’s modular platforms and REEcorners will help expedite this process and help other OEMs bring their own branded EVs to market sooner.

We asked REE if there were any EVs we’d be seeing “Powered by REE” soon. A spokesperson confirmed contracts were in place, but specifically who the contracts are with has not been released yet. There is a focus on REE’s CEO’s mention of interest from tech companies, though. That will be something to keep an eye on.

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Scooter Doll is a writer, designer and tech enthusiast born in Chicago and based on the West Coast. When he’s not offering the latest tech how tos or insights, he’s probably watching Chicago sports.
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