Israel-based startup Ree Automotive delivered the first trucks with electronic by-wire technology for steering, braking and driving, achieving certification ahead of legacy automakers.

The Ree P7-C received U.S. Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and Environmental Protection Agency certification for the technology, which eliminates mechanical linkages that transfer force, such as a hydraulic brake pump.

Instead of electric power steering backed by a traditional steering shaft and mechanical pump, Ree provides redundancy through power electronics. Drivers will “feel” like they are steering. Instead, computer programming generates what drivers think they are experiencing. 

“Anytime a company, especially a commercial vehicle company, gets federal approval for a new technology like this, it is significant,” Sam Abuelsamid, principal analyst for Guidehouse Insights, told FreightWaves.

The federal requirements and regulations do not differentiate between by-wire and non-by-wire. British engineering consultant Horiba Mira pre-certified the Reecorner x-by-wire system in 2023.

“We are the first to do it without a full mechanical backup,” Ree CEO and co-founder Daniel Barel told FreightWaves in August. “When the regulators come to us, they say, ‘We don’t care how you do it. When you show us that if your front brake doesn’t work, show us that you can brake.’”

Ree Automotive achieved federal certification for its by-wire electronic steering, braking and driving technology. (Photo: Ree Automotive)

First demonstration trucks going to customers for evaluation

With the certifications in hand, Ree is delivering demonstration trucks including one to Pritchard EV, which will use the vehicle for a roadshow with its fleet customers. More Ree dealers and multiple fleets should receive P7-C for evaluations in coming weeks.

Ree designs its electric vehicle in Tel Aviv, Israel, and builds the electric skateboard chassis in the United Kingdom. Class 3-5 work trucks containing the drive-by-wire system come to the U.S. late this year.

Ree is taking a deliberate asset-light manufacturing approach designed to conserve cash and put just enough vehicles out to create interest for more.

In addition to by-wire operation, Reecorner technology packs critical vehicle components like steering, braking, suspension, powertrain and control into a single compact module positioned between the chassis and the wheel. Four identical Reecorners enable assembly of the industry’s flattest EV platforms that provide more room for passengers, cargo and batteries.

Incentives could exceed $100,000 per truck

The P7-C is eligible for a tax credit of up to $40,000 under the IRS Commercial Clean Vehicle Tax Credit. Stacking of state incentives could bring the total incentive per vehicle to more than $100,000, depending on the customer’s location.

“I believe our Reecorner is a true gamechanger, allowing us to build electric trucks that fleets will want to buy, and drivers will love to drive as we continue to see a strong demand for our work trucks,” Barel said in a news release.

The company said a combination of the Reecorner and by-wire technology enables:

Superior maneuverability and cargo-carrying efficiency.

Enhanced safety via hardware and software redundancies that take over in case of any system failure.

Improved ergonomics with low step-in height and driver-centric cabin.

Future proofing for driverless operation and over-the-air software upgrade capability.

“Achieving this certification milestone is a testament to REE’s dedicated team and our determination to bring this technology to market safely,” said Richard Colley, Ree vice president of government and regulatory affairs.

Related articles:

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Ree turns a corner with everything-by-wire technology

Click for more FreightWaves articles by Alan Adler.

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