Motoring Award Evening November 25, 2023
INEOS Automotive’s hydrogen fuelled Grenadier Demonstrator makes its global debut at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed. The 4X4 emits nothing but water vapour and demonstrates INEOS’s belief that hydrogen is a key fuel of the future.
With the debate and race on to go carbon free, the drive (no pun intended) has been almost exclusively on electric cars. Granted they do well and a huge investment with VW, Ford and others saying they’re going ‘all electric’. This is great and the technology is advancing however, for those of us who need more power, can electric deliver?
We see and hear of Tesla and others working on trucks but should we put ‘all our eggs in one basket’ where we need to take demand off of the national grid to recharge these? Personally I would prefer to see a mix as we have electric, gas, diesel and petrol now for different demands, lets have synthetic fuels (that can immediately replace fossil fuels in our cars and trucks), electric and hydrogen – why not? It will give us the mix we need to keep innovating and achieving the goals we need.
Personally I’m excited by this launch and I look forward to seeing more of it. Lets take a closer look.
The hydrogen Grenadier Demonstrator is identical to the production Grenadier apart from a bonnet power bulge to accommodate the additional height of the fuel cell, but this would not be present in a production model.
Lynn Calder, CEO, INEOS Automotive, says: “The hydrogen powered Grenadier Demonstrator is an extraordinary vehicle, capable of doing everything a conventionally powered Grenadier can do but with zero emissions. It shows INEOS’s determination to make supremely capable cars that will help us reach net zero.”
The project to develop a hydrogen fuelled Grenadier began in June 2022, when the business partnered with Austrian engineering supplier/powertrain consultancy, AVL, to develop the current vehicle with a clear ambition – zero emissions with no compromise to the 4X4 experience. The 4X4 uses BMW Group’s latest hydrogen fuel cell, zero-emissions powertrain, considered the most advanced and powerful in the automotive sector.
The flexibility of the Grenadier platform allowed INEOS Automotive engineers to integrate the zero emissions powertrain by modifying the ladder frame and rear axle, accommodating the electric drive units to deliver true torque vectoring drive control to each rear wheel. The capabilities of torque vectoring result in what INEOS calls ‘gecko capability’ – outstanding control and manoeuvrability in all off-road conditions, as well as a tighter turning circle and enhanced on-road driving dynamics.
To get to this point, the hydrogen Grenadier Demonstrator has undergone rigorous testing to ensure there has been no compromise to its on- and off-road capabilities or towing capacities. Like the other versions of the Grenadier, the demonstrator has conquered the notorious trails of the Austrian mountains and the various offroad challenges around Graz.
Lynn Calder, CEO, INEOS Automotive, says: “The hydrogen powered Grenadier Demonstrator along with our all-electric model due in 2026, shows INEOS commitment to net zero. 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.
“INEOS also produces 400,000 tonnes of hydrogen per annum and is committed to hydrogen as a key fuel of the future. Our demonstrator proves that the technology is capable, but what we need now is support from policy makers to help provide the infrastructure for the next generation of hydrogen vehicles.”
I hope this innovation is given the support needed to help bring it through to production as the money and investment was for the drive towards electric has been.
Written by: Steve
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