Softwheel Ltd., an Israel-based startup that develops wheels with built-in suspension, is involved in two major electric vehicle projects, according to people with knowledge of the partnerships.
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Softwheel is collaborating with Ford on a new electric sedan and with Italian industrial manufacturer IVECO S.p.A. on an electric truck.
The seven-year-old startup has two other known automotive partnerships. Last year, Softwheel inked a deal for an investment from NSK Ltd., an auto parts maker in Japan. Then, two months ago, Calcalist reported that Canada’s Linamar Corporation would set up a production line for Softwheel products.
Softwheel started with a focus on developing wheels for bicycles and wheelchairs. The innovation lies in replacing the spokes of a wheel with shock absorbers, which Softwheel says is more comfortable and efficient than traditional designs.
The firm’s CEO told Calcalist in an interview in April that the company “want(s) to make the jump to automotive.” Softwheel declined to comment for this story.