The Defender-inspired Ineos Grenadier will borrow the Hyundai Nexo's fuel-cell powertrain.
With more automakers embracing electrification, the auto industry is going through a major transformation period right now to reduce global emissions. Hyundai, on the other hand, is one of a handful of automakers that also sells hydrogen fuel cell cars. Launched in 2018, the Hyundai Nexo is the world's first fuel-cell SUV, offering a Tesla-rivaling range of 380 miles. With an expensive starting price of $58,735, sales have been slow in the US, but the hydrogen-powered SUV recently achieved an impressive sales milestone in South Korea with 10,000 units sold since 2018.
Now, Hyundai has announced its joining forces with Ineos to develop a hydrogen version of the Land Rover Defender-inspired Grenadier off-roader. Together, the two companies will also work together on the production and supply of the alternative fuel source to accelerate the growth of hydrogen-powered vehicles.
Combining the original Defender's rugged styling and off-road capability with modern technology, the Grenadier will utilize turbocharged gasoline and diesel engines provided by BMW. As part of a "memorandum of understanding to explore new opportunities to accelerate the global hydrogen economy" between Hyundai and Ineos, the Grenadier will also be offered with Hyundai's in-house-developed fuel-cell system. It's the same system used in the Nexo that develops 161 horsepower and 291 lb-ft of torque sent to the front wheels through a single-speed gearbox, but technical details for the hydrogen-powered Grenadier are being kept under wraps for now.
"Ineos' move into the development of a fuel cell electric vehicle and hydrogen ecosystem marks yet another milestone towards sustainable and clean transportation," said Saehoon Kim, Senior Vice President and Head of Fuel Cell Center at Hyundai.
"Hyundai believes this will provide an important low-carbon option across a wide range of sectors. We also hope our decades-long expertise in hydrogen fuel cell work in synergy with Ineos' expertise in field of chemistry to realize the mass production of green hydrogen and fuel cells for the Grenadier."
Peter Williams, Technology Director at Ineos added: "The agreement between Ineos and Hyundai presents both companies with new opportunities to extend a leading role in the clean hydrogen economy. Evaluating new production processes, technology and applications, combined with our existing capabilities puts us in a unique position to meet emerging demand for affordable, low-carbon energy sources and the needs of demanding 4x4 owners in the future."
Hyundai will also benefit from Ineos' vast chemical experience as the company currently produces 300,000 tons of hydrogen a year mainly as a by-product from its chemical manufacturing operations. This should help the Korean automaker achieve its goal of increasing annual production of hydrogen fuel cell systems to 700,000 units by 2030.