Ineos Automotive already has a battery-electric version of their Grenadier 4x4 due for release in 2026, but they’ve also developed a version using a hydrogen fuel cell powertrain, as they believe that hydrogen is a key fuel for the future.
Making its global debut at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed in the UK, the hydrogen Grenadier project began in June, 2022. To develop a vehicle with a clear ambition – zero emissions with no compromise to the 4X4 experience - Ineos Automotive partnered with Austrian engineering supplier and powertrain consultancy, AVL.
The hydrogen fuel cell for the project was sourced from BMW, whose zero-emissions hydrogen powertrain is regarded as the most advanced and powerful in the automotive sector. And being hydrogen, it emits nothing but water vapour.
The flexibility of the Grenadier’s platform allowed Ineos Automotive engineers to integrate the zero emissions powertrain relatively easily. Some modifications to the ladder frame and rear axle were required to accommodate electric drive units that deliver true torque vectoring, ie. Individual drive control to each rear wheel. Ineos describe torque vectoring as delivering ‘gecko capability’ - outstanding control and manoeuvrability in all off-road conditions, as well as a tighter turning circle and enhanced on-road driving dynamics.
Externally, the only difference on the hydrogen-fuelled Grenadier compared to the conventional version was the addition of a bonnet bulge to accommodate the height of the fuel cell.
Ahead of its public debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, the Grenadier hydrogen demonstrator underwent “rigorous testing” on roads and mountainous trails around Graz, Austria, to ensure all the on- and off-road capabilities from the petrol- and diesel-engined version of the 4x4 are unaffected.
“The hydrogen powered Grenadier demonstrator is an extraordinary vehicle, capable of doing everything a conventionally powered Grenadier can do, but with zero emissions,” said Lynn Calder, CEO of Ineos Automotive. “It shows Ineos’s determination to make supremely capable cars that will help us reach net zero.
“The hydrogen powered Grenadier demonstrator, along with our all-electric model due in 2026, shows Ineos’s commitment to net zero.”
The two-track strategy to zero emissions seems unusual, but Calder says it’s to suit different driving applications and requirements.
“BEVs are perfect for certain uses - shorter trips, most private car journeys and urban deliveries, whilst Hydrogen FCEVs are more suited for longer trips, heavy duty cycles where batteries impact too much on payload and where long range between stops is necessary.”
Calder adds that Ineos Automotive is committed to hydrogen as a key fuel of the future and is already producing 400,000 tonnes of hydrogen per annum.
“Our demonstrator proves that the technology is capable, but what we need now is support from (UK Government) policy makers to help provide the infrastructure for the next generation of hydrogen vehicles.”
The first units of the conventional, combustion-engined Grenadier 4x4 wagon for the Australian market started arriving earlier this year, all of which had been pre-ordered. The electric version of the Grenadier is unlikely to reach our shores until sometime in 2026 or 2027, while the hydrogen version remains a demonstrator, with no market release date set.
For more details on the Ineos Grenadier, go to: ineosgrenadier.com/en/au/