Ineos and Korean automaker Hyundai have agreed to work together on hydrogen fuel cells that will eventually power the British chemical company’s new off-road vehicles.
They will work together to develop a reliable supply of hydrogen in Europe, as well as the use of Hyundai fuel cells in Ineos’ vehicle, called the Grenadier.
Sir Jim Ratcliffe, founder of Ineos and one of Britain’s richest people, has invested millions in the development of the car, which will hit the market in early 2022 with an internal combustion engine.
However, Ineos also plans to produce a version capable of running on zero carbon dioxide emissions to meet increasingly stringent environmental standards around the world, and he believes that battery-powered electric power will not give it the capabilities. robust in areas with irregular electricity supply.
Hydrogen fuel cells power electric motors with water as the only emission. Many companies are betting that hydrogen will be the dominant technology to power large vehicles, from buses to trains, because it offers a higher energy density than lithium-ion batteries.
Ineos kicked off its efforts to strengthen itself in the automotive market in 2018, after Jaguar Land Rover confirmed that its famous Land Rover Defender would be redesigned after 70 years of small external changes.
Ratcliffe, a prominent supporter of the campaign to leave the EU, originally planned to manufacture the Grenadier in the UK, but then opted to build it in France, when Mercedes-Benz owner Daimler set up a factory on sale.
The deal is expected to be finalized in a few weeks, with production of The Grenadier – named after one of Ratcliffe’s favorite London pubs – set to begin in December 2021.
Mark Tennant, commercial director at Ineos Automotive, said internal combustion engines remained the best option for the Grenadier to handle “tough and tough jobs”, but hydrogen fuel cells were part of the longer-term plan.
“You need something that gives good autonomy and is quite self-sufficient in the sense of traveling in the backcountry of Africa or Australia,” he said.
Promoting a hydrogen supply chain could also benefit Ineos’ existing chemical business, which already produces 300,000 tonnes of hydrogen per year.