Mate Rimac: The Electrifying Progress of Europe’s Elon Musk

From being a refugee from the Yugoslav war, Mate Rimac started business as an inventor in a garage with a clapped-out BMW. Today he is CEO of Croatia-based Rimac Group which he founded to engineer and build high-performance electric hypercars. But his next goal is a self-driving taxi subsidiary.

Who is Mate Rimac?

People who are not “Petrol heads” may not have heard of Mate Rimac. The Croatian might be described as Europe’s Elon Musk – but without the controversy. But like Musk, Rimac’s hero is futurist Nikola Tesla. Tesla was a native of what is now Croatia, the country to which Rimac returned having been a refugee in Germany during the Yugoslav war. By the age of 17 Mate already had patents registered for his inventions. At  19 he drove an aged BMW that blew up in a race. Rather than replacing it, he chose a much more challenging route – to build his own electric powertrain. 


By the age of 23 in 2011, he had created his first all-electric car, the Concept One. Since then, he has attracted investment from Porsche, Hyundai-Kia, and the Camel Group.

Rimac might be described as the European Elon Musk – but without the controversy”

Rimac and Bugatti combine forces in historic new venture ©Rimac – Rimac


What was Rimac’s path to hypercar fame and fortune?

Rimac’s original idea was to create the most powerful electric hypercar – a limited-edition supercar. However, the technology he needed didn’t exist in 2009. It was clear to him that he had to create everything himself. Ever since, Rimac Group has been growing its talent and core competencies in-house. Rimac is a classical entrepreneurial story starting as a one-man band in a garage. Today Rimac Group boasts a workforce of 1,300 based mainly at headquarters near Zagreb, Croatia. Underlying the eye-catching electric hypercars is the firms technological dynamism. It provides battery technology to some of the revered names in the car industry including, Aston Martin, Jaguar, and SEAT subsidiary, Cupra. Rimac acquired 55% of Bugatti, one of the most famous brand in the automotive world.

From left to right: Christophe Piochon (Bugatti’s President & Bugatti-Rimac COO), Mate Rimac (Bugatti-Rimac CEO) Hendrik Malinowski (Commercial Director Bugatti-Rimac) ©Bugatti

Where does Rimac stand on its roadmap?

Powerful and charged by lightning a Nevera is a sudden Mediterranean storm that races across the open sea off Croatia. Bearing the name of this unique meteorological force of nature, Rimac’s new generation hypercar is possibly the world’s fastest electric car. Capable of exceptional speeds the Nevera’s four electric motors independently drive its wheels. They churn out 1.4 megawatts – 1,877 horsepower – allowing the car to accelerate from zero to 60 in 1.85 seconds. But Rimac’s ambitions also lie in the mass market with plans to produce robo-taxis. Rimac Group’s self-driving taxi subsidiary aims to be an autonomous car service that is integrated with public transport.