In last month’s Famous Last Words, I wrote about the founder of American battery-powered trucks, vans and SUV’s manufacturer Rivian, Robert ‘RJ’ Scaringe. At 38 years old, he’s managed over the past ten years to raise more than US$3billion and become one of the world’s most influential mass-produced electric vehicle manufacturers. It’s certainly an amazing story.
An equally amazing story is that of Croatian electric vehicle manufacturer Rimac and its 33 year-old founder Mate Rimac.
Firstly, if you haven’t heard of Rimac, in early June they released their latest offering to the electrical vehicle world with what has been described as the most advance hypercar to date.
They will produce 150 cars which will accelerate from 0-100mph in 4.3 seconds, 0-186mph in 9.3 seconds, and on to a top speed of 258mph or 415kph. It’s called the Nevera and is the long awaited production-ready iteration of the Rimac Concept Two that was first seen at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show and it looks very impressive as this video demonstrates:
Mate Rimac was born in Bosnia in 1988 and as the war in the former Yugoslavia broke out in 1991, his family moved to Germany until 2000 when he and his family moved back to Croatia. During his high school years, Mate won many local, national and international competitions for electronics and innovation, so it was not surprising that this combined with his love of cars that he was able to create his first all-electric supercar from the ground up, The Concept One at the age of 23 in 2011.
From one employee in 2011, Rimac has now grown to more than 1,000 employees, attracted major investment from Porsche AG, Hyundai-Kia and one of Asia’s largest battery manufacturers Camel Group, whilst also producing components for Porsche, Hyundai, Kia, Renault, Jaguar, Aston Martin, SEAT, Koenigsegg and Automobili Pininfarina. It also has an eBike technology company called Greyp Bikes that manufactures high-tech eBikes.
Rimac was recently in the news when it and Porsche agreed to set up a joint venture that incorporates Bugatti to manufacture hypercars under the name Bugatti-Rimac. Rimac will hold a 55 percent share in the Bugatti-Rimac joint venture, while Porsche will have a 45 percent share. Porsche currently holds a 24 percent share in Rimac directly.
Mate Rimac will lead Bugatti-Rimac, which will be headquartered in Zagreb, Croatia. Bugatti’s manufacturing will remain in Molsheim, France and under the new company umbrella, the Bugatti and Rimac brands will initially produce two hypercar models: the Bugatti Chiron and the all-electric Rimac Nevera.
This is how Mate Rimac described the announcement:
“This really is an exciting moment. Rimac Automobili has grown very quickly and the joint venture takes the company to a completely new level. Bugatti and Rimac are a perfect match for each other, and both contribute important assets: we have established ourselves as an industry pioneer for electric technologies, while Bugatti has more than a century of experience in the development of top-class cars and therefore brings with it an outstanding tradition that is practically unique in the history of the automotive industry. Together we will pool our knowledge, our technologies and our assets with the goal of creating very special projects in the future.”
According to Lutz Meschke, Member of the Porsche Executive Board for Finance:
“This joint venture is the provisional culmination of a strategic chain of investments. We already purchased the first shares in Rimac in 2018 and have successively increased our shareholding since then. We established a close relationship with Mate and his extremely innovative team very early on. We are now benefiting from that. Thanks to its know-how, Rimac will now help us to successfully lead an emotive and important brand into the future. I am very proud and delighted that we have brought this joint venture to fruition in spite of many challenges. Today is a good day for Bugatti and Rimac, Porsche and also for the Volkswagen Group.”
Following is the Live event that was staged in Dubrovnik, Croatia on July 6th this year to officially announce the joint venture and within it Mate Rimac gives an insight into where it all started:
I you’d like to know some more about Mate Rimac, this video from The Late Brake Show sees him in a more informal conversation:Idol Chat with Mate Rimac – The Late Brake Show