SEOUL, May 14 (Yonhap) -- Hyundai Motor Co. and its affiliate Kia Motors Corp. said Tuesday they will jointly invest 80 million euros (US$90 million) in Croatia's electric carmaker Rimac Automobili.
On Monday, Hyundai Motor Group Executive Vice Chairman Chung Euisun signed a strategic partnership at Rimac's headquarters in the Eastern European country to develop high-performance electric and hydrogen fuel-cell electric car prototype models by 2020, the group said in a statement.
The business tie-up came as Hyundai and Kia aim to develop the electrified version of Hyundai's high-performance N brand sports car and a new hydrogen fuel-cell electric car model by 2020 for commercial production afterwards, they said.
"Rimac is an innovative company with outstanding capabilities in high-performance electric vehicles. Its startup roots and abundant experience collaborating with automakers combined with technological prowess makes Rimac the ideal partner for us," Chung said in the statement.
The South Korean auto group has pushed forward hydrogen-powered vehicles amid stricter regulations on diesel-powered cars and growing demand for environmentally friendly vehicles in global markets.
Rimac has advanced technologies in its high-performance electric vehicles' operating systems, Hyundai said. For instance, it introduced the C_Two semi-autonomous electric hypercar that has 1,888 horsepower and can go from 0-100 kilometers in 1.85 seconds, the statement said.
"We want to build high-performance vehicles that are not only fast and powerful but also meet the highest expectations of our customers as the car of their dreams," Thomas Schemera, executive vice president and head of the group's production division, said in the statement.
Hyundai Motor Group has invested in technologically advanced companies to secure a bridgehead in next-generation vehicle markets. It invested $275 million in Singapore-based ride-hailing company Grab last year and in March invested $300 million in Indian ride-hailing giant Ola, it said.
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