WAD: Please tell us, how did a small company from Croatia become one of the most exciting electrical car brands in the world?
RIMAC: To understand the breakthrough of the company, one needs to take a step back to the beginning. It all started in a garage – when founder and CEO, Mate Rimac was 17 years old, he already had his first patents and was the Croatian champion for electronics and innovation, representing Croatia in competitions all over the world. As soon as he turned 18, he bought an old 1984 BMW E30 and raced it. Soon enough, the gas engine blew up. That was the trigger to start the dream project – build an electric race car. As Nikola Tesla (inventor of the modern electric motor, amongst other things) was born in Croatia, Mate was inspired by him and fascinated by his motor. He was always asking himself why nobody builds electric sports cars or race cars, which seemed logic as the electric motor has so many advantages compared to combustion engines. When he set out to convert the E30 into an electric race car, he wanted to prove that electric cars can be fun and fast – even faster than gas powered cars. It is quite ironic that this old BMW broke 5 FIA and Guinness World Records for the fastest accelerating electric car and that it won many races against gas-powered race cars, which is unique to this date.
As Nikola Tesla (inventor of the modern electric motor, amongst other things) was born in Croatia, Mate was inspired by him and fascinated by his motor. He was always asking himself why nobody builds electric sports cars or race cars, which seemed logic as the electric motor has so many advantages compared to combustion engines. When he set out to convert the E30 into an electric race car, he wanted to prove that electric cars can be fun and fast – even faster than gas powered cars. It is quite ironic that this old BMW broke 5 FIA and Guinness World Records for the fastest accelerating electric car and that it won many races against gas-powered race cars, which is unique to this date.
Rimac Automobili Inc. was founded in 2009 on the outskirts of Zagreb, Croatia. The idea was to build an all-electric supercar from scratch. A small team worked day in day out to present the Concept_One, company’s flagship, at the Frankfurt Motor Show 2011. The Concept_One was (and is) entirely built in-house and this is what gives a great boost to the overall progress of the company. We are designing, developing, manufacturing and assembling on our own, not just our cars but for the other manufacturers as well.
The focus has shifted from only manufacturing high – performance electric vehicles and today to becoming a technology company at its core. We are a true engineering company with about 50% of our 250-people team devoted to engineering and design. A major challenge was to build that team in a country that never had a car industry and has only a few high-technology companies. That meant we had to go through a lot of trial-and-error iterations and learn from our own mistakes. That process bonded our team and created a family. We are a team of fast and flexible workers, and we develop our technologies as rapidly as possible. We strive to make our development process less bureaucratic and standardized because we believe that this holds back the development of the car industry and prevents a swift implementation of new technology.
WAD: In addition to state-of-the-art electric supercars, Rimac also produces high-end Greyp e-bikes. Can you give us a quick rundown on Greyp’s impressive features?
RIMAC: Greyp Bikes is the brainchild of the people behind the world’s fastest electric hypercar in production – The Rimac Automobili Concept_One.The idea was to show how this cutting-edge technology, developed primarily for hypercars, can trickle down to be used for other applications, such as electric bikes, becoming accessible to a wider range of customers.
The goal is to develop and produce the ultimate electric bicycles by enhancing user-experience and technology. Greyp Bikes proud themselves on two models: A superior off-roader Greyp G12S, with a top speed of 70 km/h (electronically limited) and a range of up to 120 km and 12 kW peak power, this e-bike gives you the freedom to explore more than you normally would. Activated with a fingerprint, The G12S has 3 riding modes – eco, street, and power mode. The newest street-legal Greyp G12H is the ultimate city commuter made to obey the legal restrictions with 45 km/h top speed (electronically limited), a battery capacity of 3 kW that gives you the incredible range of up to 240 km on a single charge 80 minutes (recharging time 80 mins).
WAD: Rimac develops and produces components for prestigious car brands such as Aston Martin and Koenigsegg. What’s your developers’ role in the process of building this cutting-edge technology?
RIMAC: Our B2B activities are 90% of our business – out of the 250 people in our company, most of them work on projects for other OEMs. We are working for the biggest names in the industry but also for small players. Some collaborations are public, but most are undisclosed. The ambition is to become a full electrification partner to the global OEMs.
The projects range from full vehicle development and production – where we design and build full vehicles from scratch for other companies, to smaller projects where we supply battery systems or infotainment for example. Most of the projects are focused on high-performance electric powertrains, but as we are active in many fields, it is pretty common that we also work on economy cars and autonomous vehicles.
WAD: Do you think Rimac’s technology can have a bigger impact on the future of transport and mobility?
RIMAC: Our goal is to become a true Tier 1 electrification system supplier to the global auto industry but also other industries – such as naval and stationary storage. We believe that the technologies developed for one field – for example, supercars – can be used to improve many other products. We have demonstrated this already with our Greyp Bikes, wheelchairs and other applications. The future of mobility is inevitably electric and autonomous, and our focus is set on shaping it.
WAD: Do you have any open positions that are relevant for our WeAreDevelopers community? What are your requirements for developers who aspire to become part of Rimac?
RIMAC: Events as such are always a great talent pool. We are an ever-growing high-tech company, with high requirements for proactive candidates: along with the industry experts, we employ a lot of young people, fresh out of college, to guide their passion and enthusiasm towards shaping the future of mobility. We appreciate the skills and hobbies more than the formal knowledge, knowing that a driven self-taught individual can succeed insisting on practical intelligence and fast-learning that makes all the difference.
Open job applications are always taken into consideration, but the current open positions relevant for the WeAreDevelopers community are:
- Web App Dev
- Mobile App Dev
- Linux C++ Dev
- Embedded HW Dev
- Embedded Sw Dev