American Axle and Manufacturing in Detroit, a Tier 1 automotive supplier of driveline and metal forming technologies, has announced a partnership with Israel’s REE Automotive, an eMobility company, to develop a new electric propulsion system.
The companies plan to incorporate AAM’s lightweight and efficient electric drive units, which feature high-speed motors and inverter technology, into REE’s modular REEcorner technology that enables a fully flat electric vehicle chassis for commercial vehicle applications.
“This agreement to provide electric drive technology for use in REEcorners is an important step in growing AAM’s electric propulsion business and expanding the addressable market for AAM’s newest product offerings,” says David C. Dauch, chairman and CEO of AAM. “We believe that joining forces with an advanced technology company like REE will accelerate AAM on a path to deliver e-Mobility solutions to the market.”
The electric drive units will be developed at AAM’s Advanced Technology and Development Center in Detroit with delivery of prototypes planned by the end of 2021.
“AAM’s modular drive solutions enhance our product offering with a highly compact form factor that will enable more design freedom and functionality for our future customers,” says Daniel Barel, co-founder and CEO of REE. “Together with AAM’s extensive knowledge in automotive and their global manufacturing presence, we will be able to push the REEcorner technology even further.”
REE is in the process of merging with 10X Capital Venture Acquisition Corp., through which it will become a publicly listed company.
In related news, AAM will receive $5 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Energy to advance development of its electric drive technology.
The cooperative agreement from the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy on behalf of the Vehicle Technologies Office is funding research projects in advanced batteries and electrification; advanced engine and fuel technologies, including technologies for off-road applications and alternative fueled engines; lightweight materials; new mobility technologies; and alternative fuels technology demonstrations.
AAM will use the cooperative agreement funding to further the development of a low cost, high performance, heavy rare earth-free, three-in-one electric drive unit. The company’s three-in-one electric drive unit integrates power electronics with the electric motor and gearbox. This design achieves power, performance, and cost competitiveness.
“AAM is keenly focused on advancing innovations that further enhance the efficiency, performance, and affordability of battery electric and hybrid vehicles,” says Dauch. “We believe demand for sustainable propulsion systems will continue to grow in all vehicle segments. We are honored that the Department of Energy recognized the potential of AAM’s electric drive technology to power a wide range of low and zero emission vehicle applications and look forward to advancing these developments with their support.”
Electric Drive by AAM is a suite of electric propulsion solutions that are scalable for all hybrid and battery electric vehicle segments. The systems leverage AAM’s expertise in the design, engineering, analysis, testing, and manufacturing of advanced driveline systems to engineer compact, quiet, and efficient drive units.
AAM was one of six Michigan projects to receive funding form the Department of Energy. The company is working on the electric drive technology at the Advanced Technology Development Center.