Hyundai and sibling company Kia have invested 80 million euros ($90 million) in Croatia-based Rimac Automobili and partnered to develop two high-performance electrified vehicles with the intent to bring them to the market at a future date.
Hyundai Motor Co. will invest 64 million euros and Kia Motors Corp. will invest 16 million euros in Rimac, which develops electric powertrain and battery technologies, Hyundai Motor Group said in a statement.
"The companies will work closely together to develop prototypes for an electric version of Hyundai Motor's N brand midship sports concept car and a high-performance fuel cell electric vehicle," the company said. "Hyundai Motor Group will leverage the partnership to build on its existing R&D capabilities to meet its electrification plan, which includes deployment of
44 eco-friendly models by 2025."
Rimac was founded in 2009 by Mate Rimac and currently employs 500 people making components and developing its own electric sports car -- the C_Two -- as a production model starting in 2020. "The next challenge is to grow from a low-volume manufacturer of complex, high-end electrification components to an established Tier 1 supplier for the industry."
Last year Porsche bought a 10 percent stake in Rimac.
Rimac also has a partnership with Automobili Pininfarina, owned by the Mahindra group of India, to supply the high-performance electric powertrain and battery technology to the Pininfarina Battista, a supercar unveiled at the Geneva auto show in March.
Rimac is also supplying the battery-electric system for Aston Martin's Valkyriehybrid electric supercar.
Euisun Chung, executive vice chairman of Hyundai Motor Group, said in the release that Rimac's"startup roots and abundant experience collaborating with automakers" made it an ideal partner on the Korean automotive group's "road to clean mobility."
Hyundai is of the few automakers investing heavily in the hydrogen fuel cell technology with the ix35/Tucson Fuel Cell SUV and its successor, the Nexo. Last year Hyundai and Audi said they will cooperate on developing fuel cell vehicles for Audi and other brands in the Volkswagen Group.