Ineos says it has done the engineering requirements to build a fully functioning hydrogen-powered fuel-cell electric version of its Grenadier wagon and ute – but has been put off by the lack of infrastructure support.
Speaking to CarExpert at the launch of the Grenadier wagon in Scotland this week, Ineos Automotive commercial director Mark Tennant said the brand strongly believes in hydrogen power but lacks necessary confidence that the infrastructure will be built globally.
“Fuel-cell electric vehicle for us is the right zero emission option for this vehicle, but because of the infrastructure problems – there isn’t any – we can’t make a full bet on fuel-cell until we have more confidence that people can fill it up,” Tennant said.
“We will have a fuel-cell vehicle running around by mid-year, it has nothing to do with if fuel cell technology is there, it is [but there is no infrastructure].”
In the entirety of UK there are only seven hydrogen refill stations. In Australia there are currently only three refuelling stations supplying hydrogen for sale to the public and even for those, prior contact is required.
Ineos as a company has made a name for itself in the chemical world and actually produces hundreds of tons of hydrogen per year, which explains why the company has teamed up with the likes of Hyundai to develop its FCEV capabilities.
As it stands, there is no powertrain locked in for the Grenadier FCEV just yet and whether it will ever make it to full series production remains to be seen. The real focus appears to be on the slightly smaller full battery electric vehicle coming out in 2026.
The Ineos Grenadier wagon will arrive in Australia around March this year before the ute is unveiled later this year with local deliveries expected early in 2024.
It’s unlikely that even if an FCEV version of the Grenadier goes into production that our market will put its hands up to take it.