A new electric vehicle factory is being built in Coventry to produce up to 10,000 car bases a year.
The vote in confidence for British manufacturing comes from Israeli electric vehicle start-up REE who plan to open a £12 million manufacturing hub in the Midlands and employ about 300 people.
The company’s state of the art commercial production facilities will include cloud-based robotic assembly lines creating the bases and platforms for its EV vehicles with Coventry chosen as the first European Integration Centre.
The Coventry site is approximately 130,000 square feet, includes industry 4.0 technologies and will be partially powered by solar energy.
The UK based facility will serve customer demand in Europe with an initial focus on the P7 electric platform for commercial vehicles such as walk-in delivery vans, buses and recreational vehicles.
The Coventry site will also operate as the blueprint for all future REE Integration Centres, 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. The company expects to host customer and media visits later this year.
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.
Josh Tech, REE’s Chief Operating Officer said:
“This is an important milestone on our path to commercial production next year. The automated and connected capabilities at our Coventry site are a great foundation for our global operations, as they will enable us to continuously fine-tune our assembly procedures and rapidly deploy them to other sites.”
“Our cloud-based robotic manufacturing system will be the digital backbone for our assembly lines and give us the local capability to manage our customer-specific manufacturing operations, while also allowing us to quickly share and scale best practices internationally across all plants.”
Peter Dow, REE Vice President of Engineering added:
“We have a world-class team of highly skilled designers and engineers who are leading the design, development and production of our innovative current and future technologies.
“Our team is doing tremendous work toward commercialisation of our REEcorner™ technology with P7 corner and platform builds. This establishment of the Coventry Integration Center marks a pivotal moment in the commercialisation of REE’s innovative REEcorner™ technology and EV platforms, with prototype on-track testing of its P7 platform having commenced this year.”