Mate Rimac is an inventor, innovator and one of the most influential people in electric car industry. Born in Croatia, country one of the greatest minds of electric and mechanic engineering, Nikola Tesla, Mate strives to change automobile industry forever.

Mate Rimac won award for “One of the 100 most clever people in the world”

“I’m founder and CEO of Rimac Automobili. Over the past eight years the goal has shifted. I started with a dream to make my own car and now We consider ourselves as a technology company pushing the limits of electric vehicle and building a new generation of electric sports cars.”

-Mate Rimac

Mate Rimac early life

His family moved to Germany while he was a child, but eventually came back to Croatia in 2000. He was an average student who loved cars and read a lot about Nikola Tesla and his inventions. The surprise came up when his invention “IGlove,” an electronic glove that replaces the keyboard and the mouse on computers, was awarded for the best high-school project. He attempted many other competitions for different electronic projects and always returned home with first prize. Awards in Croatia enable him to compete worldwide as part of the international competitions, where Mate presented the second invention – Active Mirror System (Dead Wheel Corner System).

Mate Rimac iGlove

Rewards and international competitions

Along with iGlove, these two innovations unexpectedly won first place despite the strong international competition. In 2006 he won a gold medal with a special praise in South Korea at the ISIE 2006 competition; a gold and silver medal in Nuremberg at the 2006 IENA Competition; and the 2006 Genius Award in Budapest. Numerous international and domestic innovations and electrical awards made Mate Rimac the most awarded young Croatian innovator. As passion for electronics was developing along with love for racing and sports cars, it resulted with the idea, or may say a dream, of building the fastest electric car in the world.  In 2007 he was enrolled at VERN University for economics and business and won a different kind of award for the best Business Plan.

Mate Rimac with awards

Converting an BMW to electric car (BMW engine blow up!)

Mate Rimac in his BMW (washing machine)

When he was 18 years old, he fulfilled a boyish wish and bought an old 1984 30 BMW for racing and fun. Unfortunately he didn’t enjoy it very long because his BMWs engine blow up during one of the races. After some thinking, he decided to combine his two passions and explore what electric cars can do. He started to convert the old BMW in his garage. After a year new fixed version had electric motor. The components were mostly bought online. He wasn’t pleased with its performance, so he decided to make his own components.  To test them, he needed to race it but many races had strict regulations. At the beginning no one considers it seriously, even called it foolish or “washing machine” on a racetrack. That could be explained becouse car wasn’t that great. It would fall apart on racetrack, or there were problems with the batteries. But eventually Mate would come back home whit another piece of puzzle. The car was improving after every race was becoming faster and more reliable. On 402 street races in 2011 electric BMW won and become the fastest car in the area. During the same year 2011 with BMW he broke FIA and Guinness World Records for the fastest selective electrical car.

Mate Rimac and his BMW in action
Mate in his homemade beast

First project and development of the electric car

In 2009 Mate founded company “Rimac Automobili” with intention to produce and develop advance electric super sports car.  In the time he was having fun, but also he had more than just a hobby in his mind. The base idea for his invention was to make his own sports car. Everything other started to develop around it. The main inspiration came from one of the greatest scientist in electrical and mechanical engineering, Nikola Tesla. He admired his work, especially the electric motor. He started to ask himself why nobody is building an electric race car or electric sports car. After University of mechanical engineering told him it is impossible to build a car in Croatia, he met Adriano Mudri, head of design for GM in Germany. They decided to develop the electric sports car. One still a student and the other full time working for GM, spent most of free time doing 3d models, rendering and sketches.

Rimac Concept One scatches

Building Concept One

Funding such a project was difficult. First investment came from Abu Dhabi in the beginning of 2011. The goal was to show the car at Frankfurt Motor Show in September. Since the paperwork took some time, Mate needed to borrow money to book the stand in Frankfurt, to find employees and start the project. In April 2011 the Concept One was building and they had less than 5 month to finish it. None of them ever worked on similar project and in Croatia there was never a car industry. Despite the lack of experience Mate and 5 guys worked hard without rest or weekends, sleeping in a garage to get the car on a track.

Rimac Concept One project

And there it was, Concept One in beautiful red color in Frankfurt Motor Show

Rimac Concept One

From garage to High Tech Company

Unfortunately, the contract with Abu Dhabi investors wasn’t signed. Mate struggled to find funds in order to repay depths and keep the company alive. This 22 year old talented young man was far from giving up.  Car was still far from being a production car and to do that there were lot of stuff to improve or add. A big problem was he couldn’t find any suitable component at reasonable prize for car industry suppliers. For example: a door handle could be couple million dollars. At that point Mate realized he needs to build up a team that can develop technologies, than a system and finally a car. In order to maintain financial stability they stared to work for other manufacturers. They were looking for different project that are similar to their own needs. Eventually 90 % of the time they were working for other, and 10% for themselves and during the process distinguish as a technology company. Mate still wants to build the super car, but more to show what top electrical super car can do. The company develop and manufacture everything and very important to Mate, it is 100% organic.

Working on the project car

Rimac Automobili success

Currently Rimac Automobili is expanding fast, doubling in size for several years. They have been established as an R&D and technology partner for some of the biggest names in the industry and as a leader in high-performance vehicle technologies. Next challenge is to move from a low-volume manufacturer of complex high-end electrification components, to a serious Tier-1 supplier for the automotive industry. Additionally, they are ramping-up for the C_Two hypercar production which is extremely vertically integrated with many components being produced on-site. As of October 2018, Rimac and Greyp number 429 full-time employees, or 482 with external collaborators and students. It is a diverse team, coming from 27 countries, and uniting in Rimac.

Happy Rimac Automobili Team

Mate Rimac is devoted to change the future of automotive industry and he will certainly do. His goal is to find and establish new approach to high performance trough technology innovations.  

Please let Us know what do You think about Mate Rimac and technology that He is developing. We recommend You to watch video below and discover more of this very interesting story!

Automotive Fixing Team