The time when mainstream electric vehicles (or EVs) were mere contraptions of novelty is quickly fading away. Automakers from across the globe are striving to put their best gear forward, investing millions of dollars and thousands of man-hours into research and development on newer, next-generation EVs.

Part of this whole electric movement can often be seen when giants of the auto industry pump large sums of money into a smaller but highly-effective niche company – in this case, Rimac Automobili. Recently, Korea’s Hyundai Motor Company and Kia Motors Corporation announced their 80-million Euro (or US$ 90 million) partnership with Croatian Rimac Automobili. Of this, 64 million Euros comes from Hyundai’s pocket, while the remaining 16 million comes from its Kia sibling. The deal will allow in-depth technical collaboration between the two Korean automakers and Rimac, which will eventually lead to the introduction of two high-performance EV prototypes by the year 2020.

With their new partnership with Rimac, Hyundai plans to work on an all-electric variant of the brand’s N brand midship sports concept car.

“Rimac is an innovative company with outstanding capabilities in high-performance electric vehicles. Its startup roots and abundant experience collaborating with automakers combined with technological prowess makes Rimac the ideal partner for us. We look forward to collaborating with Rimac on our road to Clean Mobility," Euisun Chung, Executive Vice Chairman of Hyundai Motor Group

Hyundai and Kia have long been working on their Clean Mobility solutions, which have till date resulted in cars such as the Hyundai Kona, Kia Niro and the Soul – all three have been well-accepted worldwide.  With their new partnership with Rimac, Hyundai plans to work on an all-electric variant of the brand’s N brand midship sports concept car. Moreover, there will also be a high-performance fuel cell electric vehicle – though both of these will first reveal themselves as prototype units only. However, with this newfound technical partner, Hyundai will be better equipped to widen its pre-existing research & development capabilities. It has plans to launch up to 44 new eco-friendly and green models by 2025 to further its Clean Mobility plan. Hyundai’s current high-performance N division will play a major role in future performance EVs. Its current portfolio includes the likes of the widely-acclaimed i30N and the Veloster N.

Speaking on the occasion, Euisun Chung, Executive Vice Chairman of Hyundai Motor Group said, “Rimac is an innovative company with outstanding capabilities in high-performance electric vehicles. Its startup roots and abundant experience collaborating with automakers combined with technological prowess makes Rimac the ideal partner for us. We look forward to collaborating with Rimac on our road to Clean Mobility.” Thomas Schemera, Executive Vice President and Head of Hyundai Motor Group’s Product Division also chipped in, “We want to build high-performance vehicles that are not only fast and powerful but also meet the highest expectations of our customers as the car of their dreams. Our goal is to popularize electric vehicles and to create social value through world-class technology and innovation in performance.”

Rimac Automobili started as a relatively obscure garage project that was the brainchild of the then 21-year-old Mate Rimac

Meanwhile, since its foundation a decade ago, Rimac Automobili has skyrocketed itself into a niche yet serious player in the performance EV segment. It came up as a relatively obscure garage project that was the brainchild of the then 21-year-old Mate Rimac. Since then, there has been no looking back and then came the spectacular Rimac Concept One. Today, almost everyone in the automotive industry knows about this small Croatian marque.

“We are very impressed by the Hyundai Motor Group’s vision and prompt and decisive initiative. We believe that this technology partnership will create maximum value for our companies and their customers. Rimac is still a young and relatively small but fast-growing company. We see a strong investor and technology partner in Hyundai Motor Group and believe that this collaboration will charge the company’s position as a Tier-1 electrification components supplier to the industry,” stated the Founder and CEO of Rimac Automobili.