Croatia will ask for a €200 million EU grant for the Rimac Automobili electric car company based outside Zagreb, to fund the company's research and development of autonomous vehicles, the Jutarnji List daily reported on Thursday.
Croatia’s national recovery and resilience plan – which all EU countries are required to draw up in order to access EU funding to help boost their post-Covid economies – will make at least 30 percent of the funding available to privately-owned companies, according to government officials.
As part of the scheme, the EU will disburse €672bn to its member countries, including €3.6bn earmarked for Croatia. Countries must draw up plans on how to spend the money by April, and the first payments are expected in mid-2021.
One of the projects that Croatia’s transport ministry will apply for will be the development of autonomous vehicles by the company owned by young entrepreneur Mate Rimac. His company, headquartered just outside Zagreb, develops engineering systems for electric-powered vehicles and has a history of cooperating with some of Europe’s largest car makers.
The company employs some 1,000 people and has recently announced the opening of an R&D office in England.
The Jutarnji List daily reported that the project fits the requirements for the category which EU calls “future mobility” and the project might be eligible for about €200 millions in co-funding.
Rimac is reportedly planning to develop eco-friendly urban vehicles which would be integrated into Zagreb’s public transportation system. The Rimac Automobili company told Jutarnji they would not comment on the project in more detail before the European Commission makes an official decision approving Croatia’s national plan.