It's been a couple years since EV platform manufacturer REE unveiled what we called "minimum viable car:" Essentially four wheels and a floor.
Each wheel module contains its own motor, steering, suspension and brakes, and the floor stores the battery array. The company's plan is to provide the platform to manufacturers, who can build whatever kind of vehicle they want on top of the "skateboard."
Now it's finally happening. While REE started by developing smaller platforms like the P1, P2 and P4…
….their new P7 platform is considerably scaled up, available in lengths from 19.7 feet to 28.4 feet, and widths of 5.9 feet to 7.9 feet:
This makes it an ideal van or truck platform, and chassis manufacturer EAVX has collaborated with step-van manufacturer Morgan Olson to build the Proxima, a massive delivery van prototype on the P7.
EAVX and Morgan Olson just about maxed out on the size, opting for 28.4 feet long and 7.74 feet wide. They've built up to a height of 9.3 feet, designed the front of the vehicle for maximum driver visibility and have not wasted a single square inch in the rear, opting for a boxy shape that can swallow 1,000 cubic feet of packages with a maximum weight of 8,000 pounds.
Ordinarily a truck this size can be difficult to maneuver, but thanks to four-wheel steering the Proxima has a relatively tight turning radius of 25.26 feet. The interior floor is ultra-low—a full step lower than a standard cargo van this size—as there is of course no need to accommodate a transmission tunnel.
And maintenance is grossly simplified: Each wheel module can be separately unplugged and popped out for servicing or replacement.