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Ursula von der Leyen visits Rimac

08 July, 2021

The President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen is visiting Zagreb on Thursday, July 8th, to present a positive assessment of Croatia’s recovery and resilience plan. During her visit to Zagreb, Ursula von der Leyen will also visit the headquarters of Rimac Automobili in Sveta Nedelja.

Rimac Automobili’s sister company, Project 3 Mobility, is one of the proposed projects from the National Recovery and Resilience Plan and as such, it’s selected among the projects to be presented to the Commission.

The project for the development of vehicles and infrastructure for new mobility has been recognized as one of the national strategic projects in the transportation sector, which represents a great potential for the society and economy of the Republic of Croatia in the coming period, as well as globally.

KIA Motors, a company that is a part of the Hyundai Motor Group, is already directly involved in the project, as an investor and shareholder of the company. The total amount of funds that will be invested in the first, before the commercial phase of the project is 450M EUR, coming from foreign investors, such as KIA Motors, and others with whom negotiations are already in an advanced stage. We expect that much larger investments will be needed after the initial pre-commercial phase, which will also be collected from international investors. According to the National Recovery and Resilience Plan, 200M EUR will be co-financed in the pre-commercial phase from EU Funds.

The project is actively in development for the past several years, its commercial phase, after intensive research and development is expected from the end of 2024. The first vehicle demonstrator was made last year, working on various elements of overall services (mobility platform, vehicle, infrastructure) and the goal is to present these elements to the public at the end of 2021 or the beginning of next year. We have entered into key partnerships with companies such as KIA (also an investor in the project), Microsoft, the autonomous software provider, and many others. Negotiations are ongoing. with about 20 cities in Europe and the Middle East, which would be the first cities where the robotaxi service would be enabled. Cooperation agreements have been signed with several cities, and our wish is for the first city in the world where the service is available to be Zagreb in 2024. The goal is for the production of vehicles and a large number of components to be in Croatia which would then export tens of thousands of units per year to locations where the Robotaxi service will be provided.

Mate Rimac, CEO of Rimac Automobiles and P3 Mobility says:

We were pleased to host the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, and the Prime Minister of the Republic of Croatia, Andrej Plenković at Rimac Automobili and to present the project of our sister company P3 Mobility. On this occasion, we presented a new mobility project that we have been working on for several years. We are glad that it was recognized as a strategic project proposed to the placement of funds of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan. The future of mobility will change completely. The commercial phase of our project, after intensive research and development, is expected from the end of 2024. The first vehicle demonstrator was made last year and we’re working on various elements of overall services (mobility platform, vehicle, infrastructure). We have entered into a key partnership with a company such as KIA (also an investor in the project), Microsoft, autonomous software provider and many others. We are currently in negotiations with about 20 cities in Europe and the Middle East, which would be the first cities to be provided with a robotics service. We have already signed cooperation agreements with several cities, but our wish is for Zagreb to be the first city in the world where the service will be provided in 2024. The goal is to produce the vehicles and a large number of components in Croatia and export tens of thousands of units per year to locations where the Robotaxi service will be provided.

Andrej Plenković, Prime Minister of the Republic of Croatia says:

This is an important and big day for Croatia. Since Ursula was in Cyprus this morning, she will be in Brussels again tonight, thinking about the concept of her stay here, we decided on three important points, each with its own symbolism. (…) The third point of this visit was deliberately chosen to be right here in Sveta Nedelja at Rimac. To show the Commission, but also the world and the public that Croatia, as Mate said in the presentation, has young, creative people, innovators building on the heritage of Nikola Tesla. People who fully understand the trends of the present that will be transformed into reality in the future. This project P3 will be a further project of the future. A project that fully coincides with the goals of the 4th Industrial Evolution, with a European green plan, 100% digital and 100% green.

It is on this track that we wanted to show that Croatia makes a very concrete contribution thanks to companies such as Rimac, but also other examples like Infobip in Vodnjan in Istria, trends that are global. And that is why the point of the national recovery and resilience plan is to use these funds for reform and development, to support those who are excellent, who are brave, who are creative and who will contribute to job creation in the future, and in this way there is no dilemma. Safer traffic and traffic that does not harm the environment. With great satisfaction and gratitude to the presidential commissions for today’s visit, for the decision which approved the funds in Croatia. Of course, I acknowledge Mati Rimac, his associates and more than 1,100 employees who are fully international for such a large project, a project of the future that will receive just under 200M EUR from the national recovery plan.

Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission says:

Being here being with you, Mate, and having seen the presentation I must say I am deeply impressed. I have seen the future present here in Croatia. I have seen the future of mobility here present in Croatia that is the answer to climate change. It is protecting the environment; it is the answer to the needs of digitalization because it works with smart connectivity. It works with artificial intelligence in a way that serves people and indeed I have seen a concept that gives back to people time, safety, affordability.  So that was fascinating, I am very glad that Europe is investing in this entrepreneurship. This capability of innovation I have seen here today in Croatia and gives me a lot of confidence that next-generation EU is the one who will make sure that the European Union is setting standards for the world for example environmentally-friendly mobility. Mate thank you very much, this was outstanding and I’ll go home with a lot of good impressions and I’m looking forward to implementing what we have started today.

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