The Hyundai Motor Group has invested €80 million (£60m) in Croatian electric hypercar firm Rimac, as part of a new technical partnership that will involve the two firms developing two high-performance EVs by 2020.
Under the agreement, Hyundai and Kia will collaborate with Rimac to produce a full electric version of the forthcoming ‘midship’ sports car from Hyundai’s N performance division and a high-performance fuel cell vehicle.
The Hyundai Motor Group has investested heavily in hydrogen fuel cell technology alongside its full electric development plans, believing the technology can be a viable alternative to full EVs for low-emissions vehicles. It's aiming to expand its fuel cell production facilities to produce 700,000 units per year, and a high-performance fuel cell car could help to showcase the potential of the technology.
The £80m investment is split across Hyundai, which has invested €64m (£54.7m), and Kia, which will invest €16m (£13.7m). Hyundai says the deal will help accelerate its electrification plans, and position the firm “as a global leader in driving this change in the industry”.
Hyundai Motor Group vice-president Eui-sun Chung said Rimac’s “start-up roots and abundant experience collaborating with automakers combined with technological prowess” made it “the ideal partner”.
The release did not disclose if Hyundai’s investment gave it a stake in Rimac ownership.
Last year, Porsche acquired a 10% stake in Rimac for an undisclosed sum, with that deal part of a plan to incorporate Rimac’s electric powertrain technology in future models. Rimac has also supplied technology to other firms, including Automobili Pininfarina for its Battista hypercar.
Rimac has produced a number of electric performance machines under its own brand, including the £1.5 million, 258mph C_Two, which it unveiled last year.