Ineos Automotive’s hydrogen-fuelled Grenadier
Ineos Automotive’s hydrogen-fuelled Grenadier Demonstrator made its global debut at the 2023 Goodwood Festival of Speed, in the UK. The demo model emits only water vapour and demonstrates Ineos’ belief that hydrogen is a key fuel possibility for the future.
Fuel cells powered by hydrogen are seen as alternatives to battery-electric vehicles, but consumer reaction to fuel-cell vehicles has been lukewarm, to say the least. Even in California, where there are several refilling stations, consumers have had poor experiences with Honda and Toyota fuel-cell cars.
There is almost no hydrogen refuelling infrastructure in Australia and at this stage of electric vehicle development the market is much more interested in battery-electric vehicles that can be relatively easily recharged.
The hydrogen Grenadier Demonstrator differs from the production Grenadier in having a bonnet bulge, to accommodate the BMW fuel cell, but this ugly feature isn’t expected to be necessary in production models.
Ineos’ interest in fuel cell propulsion became much more understandable when we learnt that the company produced 400,000 tonnes of hydrogen last year and is committed to hydrogen as a key fuel of the future.
The project to develop a hydrogen-fuelled Grenadier began in June 2022, in concert with Austrian engineering supplier and powertrain consultancy, AVL. The result was the choice of BMW Group’s latest hydrogen fuel cell, zero-emissions powertrain.
Ineos Automotive engineers modified the ladder frame and rear axle, accommodating front and rear electric drive units that deliver torque-vectoring control to each wheel. Torque vectoring produces a tighter turning circle and enhanced on-road driving dynamics.
Claimed range from a single hydrogen tank is around 480km.
It seems that Ineos is also investing in battery-electric propulsion, with the promise of an all-electric model in 2026.