So who, exactly is Mate Rimac, the 34-year-old inventor of the Croatian EV ‘Hypercar’ Company?
Well, for starters, Mate Rimac considered to be one of the most influential people in the automotive world today.
And he lives in the land of Tesla, as in Nikola Tesla.
Croatia, in eastern Europe, is known as the birthplace of Tesla. It’s also known for its gorgeous tourist destinations. (Did you know that the beautiful city of Dubrovnik in Croatia was the main filming location for the hit TV series Game of Thrones?)
Now, thanks to Mate Rimac and his EV ‘Hypercar’ company, Croatia is quickly becoming known for its automobile manufacturing industry.
Among other things, Croatian-born Nikola Tesla designed the modern alternating current (AC) electricity supply system – a reason why certain EV companies are named after the great inventor.
So, it’s not shocking that Rimac is a great admirer of Nikola Tesla and considers the innovator one of his biggest heroes.
And, as a resident of Croatia since the age of 12, Rimac has vowed to never move his fast-growing company outside of Croatia.
Learn more Rimac history. Check out:Porsche Has Invested $83 Million in Rimac. What is the Croatian Hypercar Company Doing Now?
Mate Rimac was born in an impoverished region of the former Yugoslavia.
In 1991, when he was just 3, his family relocated to Germany to escape the war in Yugoslavia. When he was 12, the Rimac family then moved to Samobor, Croatia.
There, his father founded a real estate company. But life was not easy for young Mate Rimac. He was bullied for his accent and, as a result, stayed busy working on inventions in his family’s garage.
Fortunately, a high school teacher and mentor took note of his gifts and persuaded the young Mate to participate in electronics and innovation competitions. He went on to build a slew of innovative devices, including iGlove which replaced the computer keyboard and mouse with a glove.
He also won an award for inventing the Active Mirror System, a rear-view mirror system for avoiding a vehicle’s blind spot.
By the time he was 17, he’d applied for two international patents for his inventions.
And then he turned his attention to building EVs. In fact, Rimac was fascinated with automobiles and car racing from a very young age.
Here’s a little timeline of how Mate Rimac’s Croatian EV “Hypercar” company came to be:
An 18-year-old Mate Rimac buys a 1984 BMW E30 323i in order to race in local competitions. The BMW’s internal combustion engine blows during one race, forcing Mate to look for alternatives. He decides to convert the BMW into an electric car, nicknamed e-M3. Initially mocked, the electrified BMW goes on to achieve celebrity status by setting several world records for electric cars and instills the idea of starting an EV company in the mind of the young Rimac.
After the success of e-M3, Rimac decides to start an EV brand. At this point, Mate is still a 21-year-old university student with zero funds and zero employees to help him with his cars. He meets a designer working at GM named Adriano Mudri, who agrees to work on a fun and fast EV concept and by the end of the following year, the duo had developed an initial set of design renderings along with technical specifications. During the development stage of what will become his Concept One car, Rimac receives an offer from the royal family in Abu Dhabi for financial backing. However, after he refused to move the company to the Middle East, the deal was dropped, leaving the young inventor and his business in financial distress. In order to survive, Rimac and his team started developing and selling technology and components to other manufacturers in the automotive industry.
Rimac debuts his prototype Concept One, a two-seat high-performance electric sports car, at the Frankfurt Motor Show. He says he is inspired in his pursuits by stories of Italian specialty auto-maker Horacio Pagani and Swedish manufacturer of high-performance sports cars Koenigsegg.
MateRimac makes his first $1 million from the sale of an electric supercar prototype. A year later Rimac Automobili starts to raise millions from other investors. Rimac is also poised to branch off into the bike industry and set up a new company, Greyp. The bikes, which use the Rimac technology, go on to be sold throughout Europe, Israel, Kazakhstan, Peru, Chile, Mexico, and South Africa.
Rimac Automobili showcases its Concept S supercar, which is a lighter and more radical/powerful (faster) version of Concept One. The four electric motors can deliver 1,032 kW (1,403 PS; 1,384 hp), enabling the Concept S to accelerate from zero to 62 in just 2.5 seconds and reach a top speed of 227 mph. At the same show, Rimac announced the establishment of official dealerships of its brand in Europe, North America, and the Middle East.
Porsche invests in a 15 percent state in Rimac.
Rimac unveils the Nevera at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. The car has an entirely new design with butterfly doors and a host of upgrades, including heavy battery packs. It can get from zero to 60 in a mere 1.85 seconds and reach a top speed of 258 mph. The Nevera incorporates a fully independent torque vectoring system (R-AWTV) to improve handling and also includes many high-tech features such as a facial recognition system that unlocks the ignition only for the owner and adjusts the car’s settings according to the owner’s mood. The same yearPorsche shows its confidence in the company with a new $83 million investment to take its stake in Rimac to 24 percent. Both companies remain independent of one another due to the fact that that’s not a controlling stake.
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