Hyundai, Ineos join forces to produce hydrogen

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Hyundai has linked arms with chemical producer and 4×4 manufacturer Ineos to develop new ways to produce and distribute hydrogen. The tie-up also means some of the Nexo’s technology could end up in the Grenadier.

On paper, the memorandum of understanding is a match made in heaven. Hyundai stands proud as one of the car industry’s biggest supporters of hydrogen technology. Ineos currently produces 300,000 tons of hydrogen annually, largely as a byproduct of its chemical manufacturing operations. It also benefits from a tremendous amount of experience in storing and transporting hydrogen, and it recently launched a business unit tasked with developing and building the hydrogen-related infrastructure that Europe, like most regions, sorely lacks.

“The agreement between Ineos and Hyundai presents both companies with new opportunities to extend a leading role in the clean hydrogen economy,” affirmed Peter Williams, the British company’s technology director

It’s too early to tell precisely what the partnership will lead to, but Hyundai noted that Ineos will test a version of the Nexo’s hydrogen-electric powertrain in Grenadier prototypes. Executives have often hinted at a hydrogen-powered version of the SUV, and the United Kingdom’s looming blanket ban on internal combustion engines likely moved the project to the top of their to-do list. As it stands, Grenadier buyers will initially be asked to choose between a gasoline-burning 3.0-liter straight-six, and a diesel-powered engine with the same layout and displacement. Both come from the BMW parts bin, and both are bolted to an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Ineos expects to begin building the Grenadier in the Hambach, France, factory that built the Smart ForTwo for over two decades by the end of 2021. Nothing currently suggests the off-roader will be sold in the United States.

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Saurabh Shukla

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