30 August 2022 • 5 min

Chris McNulty

If you want to build the fastest-accelerating car in the world… you need the right friends.

By Christina Schiøtt Liaos, Head of Investment for Europe, Department for International Trade (DIT)

Friends with expertise, experience, an answer for even the most testing challenges. Friends that can help you access funds and introduce you to the connections to turn your vision into a reality.

This is why even the biggest innovators in the automotive world choose the UK. 

Former F1 champion Nico Rosberg recently took delivery of the first production Rimac Nevera Hypercar, said to be capable of a mouth-watering 1.85-second 0-to-60 mph and a quarter-mile time of 8.6 seconds, with top speed of 258 mph. 

Photo credit: Rimac Automobili

Rimac Automobili is a Croatian technology company that manufactures electric hypercars and provides full technology solutions to global automotive manufacturers.
There’s a close relationship between Rimac Automobili and the UK.  They, like many others looking for world-class R&D brains, facilities and clusters of expertise, have recently set up a UK office at the Warwick Enterprise Park in the Midlands.

The company has around 30 employees at the UK R&D centre and employs nearly 1,000 people in total, and is continuing to expand. 

The company’s charismatic Founder Mate Rima said at the UK launch in 2021:

"We are of the strong opinion that British engineers are world-class in the field of electrification and future of mobility. 

While Croatia will always be our home, we decided to take the opportunity to gather a small team in the UK, where the automotive industry has a long history and great expertise."

Visit the leading event for Low Carbon Vehicles LCV CENEX this September.

What can you expect from the UK?

The UK is where the world comes to innovate, with 7 out of 10 F1 teams based in the UK, also the home of Formula e and now Extreme E. The recently finished third-generation series saw Williams Advanced Engineering become the exclusive battery supplier for all cars in Formula E after McLaren decided to end their battery deal in the favour of entering Formula E as a team themselves. Astonishingly, on-the-go battery recharging charges cars in under thirty seconds, with approximately 600-800 kWh power in play.

Around 80% of UK-made vehicles are exported and the UK automotive industry is responsible for a significant proportion of Europe’s electric vehicles, including one of the most popular models in the world, and excels in low carbon propulsion (the lithium-ion battery was invented at Oxford University), lightweight materials and structures, and connected and autonomous vehicles.

Slovakian battery company Inobat is another example of an ambitious, innovative company choosing the UK. Chairman Andy Palmer is former CEO of Aston Martin and the company is going places fast. They also chose the UK’s R&D capabilities to accelerate their growth. They were a 2021 winner of the UK government’s prestigious Tech Rocketship Awards, designed to help innovative tech-led businesses supercharge their journeys to international growth.

The start-up, headquartered in Slovakia, plans to scale up quickly. InoBat has opened an R&D office at the University of Warwick Science Park’s Warwick Innovation Centre. They design, develop and manufacture advanced battery cells for electric vehicles, working with clients in the aviation, premium automotive, light commercial vehicle and bus industries.



What support can you access in the UK?

The UK has one of the world’s largest clusters of companies developing zero-emissions components for electric vehicles. In 2019, the UK was the second largest market for ultralow emission vehicles (ULEVs) in Europe and is a global leader in their development and manufacture.

To support the acceleration to Net Zero by 2050, the Prime Minister’s 10 Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution announced £500 million of funding, to be spent on the development and industrialisation of electric vehicle supply chains. 

The UK Government and its Department for International Trade in Europe is launching a new ‘Growing Green Together’ campaign to connect business with opportunities. 

  • The UK Government successfully kick-started the UK’s electric car revolution with the plug-in car grant scheme which supported the sale of nearly half a million electric cars.
  • To further increase the uptake of electric vehicles, the recently announced Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Strategy confirms £1.6bn of public funding for charging points, building a network of at least 300,000 chargers in the UK by 2030.
  • The UK is seeking investment in all areas of the EV supply chain: batteries, power electronics, motors and fuel cells. We are actively engaging with companies interested in investing in the UK all along the value chain from materials to finished product.

The UK’s Faraday Challenge is investing up to £318 million in research and innovation projects and facilities to drive the growth of the battery industry in the UK. Resulting from this, the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre is the first facility of its kind in the world. The £120 million investment helps companies to quickly develop their capabilities to manufacture batteries, scale up and expand to global markets. 

The Driving the Electric Revolution challenge is investing £80 million in electrification technologies including power electronics, electric machines and drives (PEMD). The investment will support the UK’s push towards a net-zero carbon economy and contribute to the development of clean technology supply chains.


Explore High Potential Investment Opportunities in the UK (HPOs):