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Monday, December 4, 2023

Opinion: This $2.1 million electric car leaves Tesla, Lucid and Rivian in the dust

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Two years ago, I wrote about Rimac Nevera, currently the world’s second-fastest electric vehicle. At that time, Rimac Automobili’s all-electric, $2.1 million hypercar had just set a new standard for EV performance, achieving a top speed of 258 mph and a 0-to-62mph time of just 1.85 seconds. With its 120kWh, 6960-cell battery producing 1914 hp and 2360 Nm of torque, the Nevera in 2022 was independently verified as the fastest accelerating EV production car in the world, with a 0-100 mph time of 4.3 seconds. Only 150 of these cars are planned for production.

The Nevera is a beautiful and dynamic, featuring a custom carbon-fiber body with adjustable aerodynamic settings. The Nevera also includes Level 4 autonomy, with 13 cameras, lidar, six radars, and up to 12 ultrasonic sensors, as well as an AI-powered driver coach system that provides feedback to drivers.

A lot has changed for the car maker in two years, including the car losing its lofty fastest title to a Japanese hypercar, Aspark Owl. Does Rimac still have what it takes to capture the affluent global audience and establish itself as a major player in the EV industry? To answer that question, we should focus on the business development and growth that has occurred already.

Let’s start with one of the most important milestones for the company: its merger with Bugatti. Rimac Automobili gained a foothold in luxury car market in July 2021 when it merged with Bugatti Automobiles, creating Bugatti Rimac d.o.o. (Croatian “d.o.o.” equals to LLC). After the merger, Rimac Group and its CEO Mate Rimac became the majority shareholder (55% stake) of the new company and the sole stakeholder of Rimac Technology, a separate entity dedicated to development, production, and supplying of battery systems, drivetrains and other EV components.

Both brands continued to operate independently — Rimac Automobili remained at its headquarters in Croatia, while Bugatti production continued in France. Bugatti Rimac’s new global headquarters will be situated within the Rimac Campus, a high-tech campus in Croatia that serves as the headquarters for Rimac Automobili and includes facilities for research and development, production, and design. The campus will be the base for all research and development of future Rimac and Bugatti hypercars including the Nevera and Concept_One.

In February 2022, and Nevera’s manufacturer formed another key partnership — this time with D’leteren, a Belgian luxury car dealer and a sole distributor of Porsche and Bugatti vehicles in Belgium and Luxembourg.  D’Ieteren provides the complete experience in customizing, ordering and handing over Neveras and future Rimac hypercars. It is also responsible for full after-sales support, utilizing Rimac’s in-house-developed diagnostic tools and fully digitized aftersales platform. 

In June 2022, Rimac Group raised €500 million in its Series D funding round, led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2 and Goldman Sachs Asset Management, with participation from existing shareholders including Porsche


and InvestIndustrial. The majority of funds went into further development of Rimac Technology, which has become a Tier 1 technology partner to global automotive Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and has started large-volume series production for Porsche, Hyundai, Automobili Pininfarina, Koenigsegg and Aston Martin.

The rest of the funds were used to ramp up production capacity, complete work on the new Rimac Campus, recruit additional 700 team members, open new offices across Europe and expand new production facilities.

The first production-ready Rimac Nevera took to the streets in July 2022, and in October, Rimac Automobili continued its global expansion — this time to North America. Rimac Austin (Texas) is the company’s 12th dealership partner and the first in the United States. Currently, Rimac Automobili has a network of 27 partner retailers across the globe, including Canada, South Korea, Netherlands, China, Japan, Mexico, Singapore, UAE and the U.S.

Needless to say, stellar performance of the Nevera hypercar is closely matched by the company’s growth and development. Its clear that Rimac Automobili has made significant strides both in terms of growth and development on the global EV scene. It will be interesting to watch its evolution in the coming years.

More: Rivian, Lucid and Fisker navigate a ‘treacherous road’ as they struggle to match Tesla’s success

Plus: Car makers aren’t the only stocks to benefit from EV demand. Here are 3 long-term picks that play on the materials side.


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