Hyundai Motor Group has agreed to invest EUR80m in Croatian high-performance electric car manufacturer Rimac Automobili, as the South Korean carmaker looks to establish a strategic partnership with the European start-up company in the clean mobility segment.

Hyundai Motor said it plans to invest EUR64m and sister company Kia Motors a further EUR16m in Rimac, with a view to increasing collaboration in the area of battery-powered and fuel-cell electric vehicle technologies.

Hyundai in a statement said the two companies will work closely together to develop prototypes of an electric version of an N brand sports concept car as well as a high-performance fuel-cell electric vehicle, with a view to bringing them both to market at a later stage.

Rimac Automobili, based in Zagreb, was established in 2009 by the then 21-year-old Mate Rimac, when he converted his first Guinness-World-Record breaking electric car in a business. Today, Rimac employs around 500 people in the development and manufacture of electric powertrain systems for a number of global automotive companies and also systems for high-performance and racing EVs. Many of the parts are produced in-house.

Its partnership with Hyundai will help it make the leap into large-volume manufacturing and establish itself as a key Tier-1supplier in the global automotive industry. New facilities are being built, including high-volume production facilities for battery-packs, electric drive system and also for a high-performance sports car scheduled to go into production in 2020.

Hyundai described Rimac as an innovative company with outstanding capabilities in high-performance electric vehicles. Hyundai Motor Group executive vice-chairman Euisun Chung said "Rimac's roots as a startup company and its abundant experience in collaborating with automakers combined with its technological prowess makes Rimac an ideal partner for us. We look forward to collaborating with Rimac on our road to clean mobility."

Mate Rimac said his company is "very impressed by Hyundai Motor Group's vision as well as its prompt and decisive initiative." He added: "We believe this technology partnership will create maximum value for our companies and customers".