Hydrogen power is coming for the hardcore off-roader.
Hyundai and Ineos have signed a memorandum of understanding, as they look to work together on developing hydrogen fuel cell technology.
Both companies will look to develop strategies in the production and distribution of hydrogen, along with adding hydrogen fuel cell power to more of their respective line ups.
Hyundai is a leader in fuel cell technology, after investing a huge sum of money in the alternative choice to battery electric power.
Already for sale in some markets around the world and certified for Australia, the Hyundai Nexo FCEV (Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle) is hydrogen-powered, with a driving range of up to 570 kilometres.
Hyundai is planning to increase their annual hydrogen fuel cell production to 700,000 by 2030.
The forthcoming Ineos Grenadier is looking to pick up where the old Defender left off, with a basic and rugged off-road vehicle with traditional underpinnings.
When it arrives in Australia in approximately 2022, the Grenadier will have BMW-sourced 3.0-litre petrol and diesel engines under the bonnet. This announcement confirms the development of a hydrogen-powered Grenadier in the future however, as the new companies makes good on it’s promise to diversify powertrain options.
Battery electric power hasn’t been regarded as a good fit for the Grenadier, because heavy battery packs limit payloads, and a battery-powered driving range can be limited under load or working hard.
Mark Tennant, Ineos Automotive commercial director told British finance site This Is Money: “We do think that, longer term, the automotive business will simply be battery-electric vehicles. That might be right for smaller, lighter, cars but won’t be suitable for this class of vehicle.”
“We see hydrogen as a really viable technology, especially for large SUVs.”
“We already supply a lot of commercial fleets today, such as buses. For us, that looks like a much better technology option that pure electric.”
While Ineos Automotive is a newcomer to the car industry, parent company Ineos is a big hitter in the world of chemicals and petrochemicals. Ineos currently produces 300,000 tonnes of hydrogen every year as a by-product of chemical production.
Ineos is also Europe’s largest operator of electrolysis, which uses renewable energy to produce hydrogen for power generation.
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Ineos and Hyundai join forces on hydrogen, Grenadier targeted