Porsche buys 10% of Croatian electric sports car maker Rimac

Porsche buys 10% of Croatian electric sports car maker Rimac
Porsche AG CEO Oliver Blume with Rimac Automobili CEO Mate Rimac
By Carmen Simion in Bucharest June 20, 2018

Porsche AG said on June 20 it has taken over a 10% stake in Croatian technology and electric sports car company Rimac Automobili.

Porsche is seeking a development partnership with the Croatian company as part of its electrification efforts. Rimac Automobili develops and produces electric vehicle (EV) components and manufactures electric super sports cars.

At the same time, the partnership aims to support the advanced technologies and positioning as leading niche EV technology suppliers and high-performance electric vehicle manufacturers of Rimac and its subsidiary Greyp Bikes. The size of the deal was not disclosed. 

"As part of its electrification efforts, #Porsche is seeking a development partnership with @AutomobiliRimac. The company develops and produces electric vehicle components and manufactures electric super sports cars," Porsche said in a Tweet. 

Meanwhile, Rimac commented: "A very warm welcome to our new investor and strategic partner. We are looking forward to continue working on exciting projects with our clients across the automotive industry."

Rimac Automobili has come a long way since it grew out of its founder's hobby of building and racing electric cars, which began after he converted his BMW 3 Series into an electric car, as bne IntelliNews reported in 2016 following an interview with the company. Founder Mate Rimac won his first race against gasoline-powered cars in 2010 with the prototype, realising in the process that in order to create his electric supercar he’d need to develop most of the technology and know-how from scratch. Today, his company, based in Sveta Nedjelja, a small town near Zagreb, provides technological solutions and components to a wide range of successful car manufacturers across the globe. 

“Entering the collaborative partnership with Porsche AG is an important step in our strategy to become a leading EV technology supplier to the global OEMs. We are delighted to have gained a high level of trust from our investors, partners and customers and are looking forward to continue working on exciting projects with our clients across the automotive industry,” Rimac, who is CEO of Rimac Automobili, said.

Rimac recently presented the latest version of its electric hypercar, the C Two, at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2018. The two-seater produces around 2,000 hp and reaches a top speed of 412 km per hour. It has a range of 650 km (NEDC Cycle), and achieves an 80% battery charge in 30 minutes through a 250 kW fast charging system.

Concept One, unveiled at the 2010 Frankfurt Motor Show, was considered by many in the industry to be a product of breathtaking technological innovation, the first electric car to reach 100km/h in only 2.8 seconds. The Concept S, exhibited at the Geneva motor show in 2016, is lighter and more powerful, boasting a total output of 1,088 hp, acceleration of 0-100 km/h in 2.5 seconds, and a maximum speed of 365 km/h.

“We feel that Rimac’s ideas and approaches are extremely promising, which is why we hope to enter into close collaboration with the company in the form of a development partnership.” Lutz Meschke, deputy chairman of the executive board and member of the executive board for finance and IT at Porsche, said.

The Croatian company employs a total of around 400 people. Rimac’s main focus is on high-voltage battery technology, electric powertrains and the development of digital interfaces between man and machine (HMI Development). Rimac also develops and produces e-bikes under its subsidiary Greyp Bikes.

To foster further development of the company, Rimac brought in outside investors, a company official told bne IntelliNews in 2016. In the first round of investment, the company raised €10mn from several investors, with 23% of the company’s shares in the hands of foreign investors. Among them are the South American energy mogul Frank Kanayet Yepes; Tak Cheung Yam, the new majority stake holder in Forbes Media; China Dynamics, a company active in the electric vehicle industry in China; and Sinocop Resources, a minerals and metals company.

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