Nothing validates the credentials of an automotive start-up company better than investment from a large OEM. See Ford's recent move to plough hundreds of millions of dollars into Rivian as the perfect example. Today that continues, with Hyundai and Kia having jointly invested €80m (€64m Hyundai, €16m Kia) into Croatian company, Rimac. This after Porsche purchased a 10 per cent stake in the company last year, too.
The plan is a "strategic partnership to collaborate on the development of high-performance electric vehicles", Hyundai aiming to "speed up its transition towards clean mobility and position itself as a global leader in driving this change in the industry." The first project will be an electric version of Hyundai's mid-engined N sports car - a project that extends back to 2015, with the RM15 - followed by a high performance fuel cell EV. And who better to collaborate with on those projects than a firm which has a proven history of producing electrically-powered sports cars with more than 1,000hp?
Mate Rimac said of the partnership: "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."
The official line from the release is that the two "will form a technical partnership to collaborate on two high-performance electric vehicles by 2020", so clearly there's a desire to introduce zero emission options swiftly. Given Rimac's remarkable journey in a few short years, there's no reason to doubt the accelerated timeframe. More to follow soon, no doubt.