Rimac, the Croatian company renowned for its electric hypercars, is steering into new territories by exploring alternative powertrains. The brand, famously associated with electric vehicles, is now delving into a cutting-edge technology that generates electricity by heating liquid fuels like diesel, liquefied petroleum gas, and even hydrogen.
Nanotubes in Action
Mate Rimac, the founder of the company, shared insights in a conversation with Autocar, revealing that their engineering team is actively experimenting with nanotubes. In simple terms, this innovative system heats diverse liquid fuels, considered “chemically different,” to generate the electricity required to set a motor in motion. With initial tests showcasing an impressive 80% operating efficiency, the potential applications of this technology are intriguing.
Rimac is collaborating with an undisclosed startup on this project, and while it’s too early to predict if a nanotube-powered car will hit production, the possibilities are sparking curiosity within the automotive community. If successful, this technology could find a sweet spot in sports cars, replacing the conventional battery pack and alleviating the weight concern associated with it. However, a notable trade-off is the emission of CO2, albeit less than traditional internal-combustion engines, potentially challenging zero-emissions regulations.
Beyond the Electric Horizon
While Rimac has gained fame for its electric endeavors, it is not confined to this realm alone. Apart from the exploration of nanotube-powered drivetrains, the company is diversifying its portfolio with non-electric projects. In a notable move, Rimac acquired a controlling stake in Bugatti in June 2021. Collaborating with Bugatti engineers, they are currently developing a hypercar to succeed the Chiron, and contrary to expectations, it won’t be electric. Mate Rimac revealed plans for a “heavily electrified” car with a “totally bonkers” hybrid system, signaling the brand’s flexibility in pursuing exciting innovations, regardless of their electric nature.
In the words of Mate Rimac, “Rimac isn’t exclusively electric — it’s doing whatever is most exciting at the time.” This philosophy underscores the brand’s commitment to innovation and its willingness to venture into diverse automotive technologies, guided by the pursuit of excitement and excellence.