Croatian Company Viking Obtains 2 Million Kuna From EU

Good news for further development with the welcome help of European Union funds.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Sergej Novosel Vuckovic writes on the 12th of July, 2018, the Zagreb-based Viking company has received two million kuna from the EU for the pre-commercial phase of developing a tilt-folding electric vehicle, its partners are FSB and FER.

Just like all the other guys in the neighbourhood, Robert Vlašić rode motorbikes, ranging from Vespas to the very strongest of them all, until he discovered that his friend had an accident, falling off the bike and tragically remaining left in a wheelchair. All of them suddenly stopped riding bikes, but lost the agility and the ease of passage through the crowds, as well as economic benefits and of course entertainment, which their cars did not provide them.

"That's why I wanted to make a car as fun as a motorcycle, but with more safety in driving. So we made a driver's helmet, closed by a visor which completely covers the driver, tied with a 4-point belt in an anatomic seat. In addition, the rotating intuitive steering resembles walking,'' explained Vlašić, today's director of the Viking company in Zagreb, the company for which he has an idea for a electric vehicle development project under the somewhat intriguing name of Gy3o. The company received non-refundable funds in the amount of 2.1 million kuna from the EU Regional Development Fund to begin the process.

They invested 1.1 million kuna into enabling the project to be implemented, with Viking as the project leader, assisted by the Zagreb Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture (FSB) and the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing (FER) as partners.

"The project is being developed in cooperation with HAMAG-BICRO, we've developed a prototype, but we encountered some problems because of the material, so we turned to FSB. Prof. Zoran Luli, along with our team, is helping us to compensate for that part, and Prof. Mario Vražić with a team from FER is in the field of vehicle control electronics,'' Vlašić said.

It would appear that the Gy3o vehicle has no competition, which, judging by its performance alone, is impressive. The vehicle is for one person, with minimal dimensions (a width of less than 80 cm) and weighs about 100 kg, able to enter elevators, apartments, rooms, offices...

"Everything changes, the height, the width, the length... It inclines in all directions, thus overcoming bends and obstacles,'' stated Vlašić, adding that the energy consumption for driving is about four kuna per 100 kilometres.

"There's no limit there, apart from knowledge and experience, which we're constantly collecting. The aerodynamics and stability that we're constantly developing can be handled at high speeds,'' says Vlašić.

At the moment, all of this is a stage in development with various designs and prototypes, and actual production is planned for 2020. The company also believes in the possibility of serial production Gy30 in Croatia.

"With such features, the vehicle could be very much in demand, and that demand should then be met. We're projecting a vehicle that can easily work on sheet cutting machines, pipes. We can activate a lot of metal-manufacturing companies in the vicinity to assist in the manufacturing of parts and in assembly,'' Vlašić noted, adding that the plan is to win over the world, and for that they're in search of serious, big investors.

"We're going slowly, alone, as we have done until now. Crazy, or brave, I don't know which one of those there's more of... Until we find the right investor. I hope that the state will take us under their wing. This is good for us, but it's difficult for us too,'' said Vlašić, adding that sometimes, optimism can replace reality.

"Unfortunately, the focus of the state isn't on innovation, which surely drags us backwards as a society. There are geniuses here who aren't fulfilling their potential, so they go abroad and do so with ease. With this project, I believe that there'd be someone somewhere willing to help us to the maximum. Dependence on capital in our situation means that large and potential investor has the right to create a business plan for production. We expect an experienced investor who knows how to reach that goal. The price of our e-vehicle will be like that of a scooter on the market,'' continued the Viking director, a company which otherwise produces and manufactures radiators.

They say from Viking that it's going better and better for them, with calls coming in from all over the world. According to the portal, last year's revenue for Viking stood at about eight million kuna, which is more than twice the growth when compared to 2016, with twenty employees.

This year, the company moved to a new location in Končar in Borongaj in Zagreb.


Click here for the original article by Sergej Novosel Vuckovic for Poslovni Dnevnik