Hyundai invests in Croatian EV manufacturer

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Hyundai invests in Croatian EV manufacturer

Hyundai Motor Group said Tuesday that it will invest 80 million euros ($89.9 million) in Croatian electric vehicle (EV) company Rimac Automobili in a bid to boost the development of high-performance EVs.

The auto group said Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors signed an agreement with Rimac on Monday to develop high-performance prototype models for an electric vehicle and a fuel-cell electric vehicle (FCEV). The company added that it will consider the two prototypes as production models in the future.

Hyundai Motor will invest 64 million euros in the performance EV company while sister company Kia Motors will add the remaining 16 million euros.

Founded in 2009, Rimac last year developed the C_Two EV, which has up to 1,888 horsepower and is able to reach 100 kilometers per hour (62.1 miles per hour) in 1.85 seconds. The company is known for its high-performance electric powertrain and technology in controlling vehicle responsiveness.

The collaboration between the three companies is expected to boost Hyundai Motor Group’s recent dive into eco-friendly vehicles and high-performance vehicles.

The group has introduced models such as Hyundai’s Ioniq and Kia’s Niro, which both come in EV and hybrid models. Last year, the group sold around 62,000 EVs globally, up 123 percent from the previous year.

The automaker has also set its sights on developing fuel-cell EV (FCEV) technology, announcing late last year that it will invest 7.6 trillion won ($6.4 billion) in FCEVs to have a capacity to build 500,000 units by 2030.

Hyundai Motor also introduced its N brand vehicles, targeted at performance-conscious consumers in 2015, a step away from its traditional customer base that prefers affordable vehicles.

“Rimac has outstanding capabilities in performance EVs and is the ideal partner to meet consumer needs on performance and for our company’s drive for clean mobility,” said Hyundai Motor Group Executive Vice Chairman Euisun Chung at the investment agreement ceremony on Monday at Rimac’s headquarters in Zagreb, Croatia.

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