Chinese battery maker the Camel Group is investing EUR30 million ($35.3m) in Croatian electric vehicle technology firm Rimac Automobil.
Zagreb-based Rimac, whose products include battery packs and battery management systems for the automotive, nautical and bicycle markets, said the deal represented the “single largest foreign direct investment in a Croatian technology company”.
Camel’s cash injection will support construction of new manufacturing facilities boost growth and “expand our global presence”, Rimac said.
The announcement came just days after Camel said it was set to become the latest Chinese battery maker to invest in the takeover of Nissan’s battery business.
Camel CEO Liu Changlai (pictured, right, with Rimac founder and CEO Mate Rimac) said: “Our strategy is to move aggressively into the new energy vehicle business— providing advanced battery systems, powertrains and other vehicle components to major commercial and passenger vehicle manufacturers in China.”
“After studying the market deeply, searching for a technology partner, Rimac seemed the perfect match for us, leading the development of electric vehicle technology in many areas.”
Camel, one of China’s leading lead-acid battery manufacturers, entered the lithium business in 2015.
Mate Rimac said: “This investment will help us further accelerate growth, introduce new products to the market and expand our global presence. Two key areas are building a new, state-of-the-art production facility for our technology business and launching our next-generation electric supercar, which will be shown to the world next year.”
Some EUR3m ($3.5m) of the overall investment amount will be pumped into developing products and technology for Rimac’s electric bike subsidiary, Greyp.
The Rimac group started up as a garage-based business in 2009. Today, the company supplies original equipment manufacturers worldwide, has partnerships with Aston Martin, Koenigsegg and others— and is the maker of the all-electric one-megawatt ‘Concept One’ supercar powered by a lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxide battery pack.