Rimac is making a big name for itself in battery-powered transport

THE BUSHY beard sported by Mate Rimac, the 32-year-old founder of a Croatian electric-car-technology firm named after him, long predates lockdown affectation. He is said to have grown it to conceal youthful features that might put off potential customers and partners among the world’s big carmakers, who could be wary of a company from a country with no track record to speak of in technology or making cars. (The infamous Soviet-era Yugo was built in what is now Serbia.)

Whether or not the facial hair helped, the limited run of 150 C Two electric hypercars, Rimac’s second model, sold out almost as soon as it was unveiled in 2018, despite an eye-watering price-tag of over €2m ($2.4m). Pandemic-related delays have forced buyers to wait until 2021 for their neck-snappingly brisk machines. Once they do hit the road, they will showcase technology that has attracted the attention of—and investments from—not just luxury marques like Porsche (which owns 15.5% of Rimac), but also mass-market ones such as Kia and Hyundai.

Rimac’s roster of clients is said to include almost all of Europe’s big carmakers, though most are quieter about their involvement than the soft whirr of an electric motor. Those that have made public pronouncements include Aston Martin, a posh (if struggling) British brand, and Koenigsegg, a more niche...



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