While it isn’t quite a supercar in question, a massive investment of 30.4 million kuna, of which 15.9 million kuna come from European Union funds, has been poured into the project.
As Bernard Ivezic/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 6th of July, 2018, RASCO, a Croatian company headquartered in Kalinovac, close to Đurđevac, boasts 360 employees, meaning that at least at this moment in time, it actually has more employees than Rimac Automobili, is working on developing a compact urban/city vacuum cleaner, a machine that will keep the city streets clean in an ecological and environmentally friendly manner.
Ružica Petričec Fabijanec, RASCO’s financial director, said that the electric vehicle is being developed in cooperation with the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing in Zagreb, and that it is the second largest R&D project that the company has undertaken since its very inception.
“Immediately after the company was founded, the owners realised that innovations are what ensures the company’s progress and that’s why we’ve been constantly working on innovation over 28 years of work, and we’re undertaking the second largest R&D project since the company was founded right now,” noted Petričec Fabijanec.
She added that RASCO established its R&D centre back in the 1990s and has been focusing on the development and production of vehicles to maintain traffic infrastructure. The company works on machines that clean the pedestrian areas and roads of surface dirt, machines that deal with snow removal, and grass-cutting machines that work along the side of the road. She stated that their first capital innovation, or more specifically their very first major R&D project, was a multifunctional vehicle for cleaning urban areas.
“We did it with our capital, knowledge, and resources, and when we finished the project in 2012 and started selling on the international market, we received a cold shower. Sales didn’t go well because we didn’t have a good after-sale [support],” explained Petričec Fabijanec.
The owners solved this by creating a spin-off company in partnership with a well-known German utility vehicle maintenance company, thus solving the problem of post-sales support. Since then, sales have been great and are the result of that startup.
“This new innovation, a compact city vacuum cleaner, which can even be delivered with an electric drive and be completed by the end of 2020, is funded in a completely different way. For the R&D investment of 30.4 million kuna, we’ve withdrawn 15.9 million kuna from EU funds and this was crucial, because that way we could enter into development and maintain liquidity in parallel,” concluded Petričec Fabijanec.