Ineos Grenadier, the Defender-inspired off-roader with BMW engines, is now on the production lines. The SUV is supposed to head to the US market at some point but we don’t know what’s the manufacturer's schedule for that release. What we do know for sure, however, is that Ineos Automotive won’t rush with the launch of a hydrogen-powered Grenadier. And the reason is not that the company doesn’t have the tech developed.
The Grenadier was recently launched in Scotland where the automaker’s commercial director Mark Tennant spoke to CarExpert. Tennant confirmed Ineos Automotive already has a fully working hydrogen Grenadier but it won’t release it yet due to the current global hydrogen charging infrastructure. Or, rather, its lack.
Gallery: Production start of Ineos Grenadier
“Fuel-cell electric vehicles 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 summarised the current situation. “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.”
Details surrounding the Grenadier FCEV are scarce and there’s no information available about its powertrain. Ineos Automotive first announced its plans for a hydrogen Grenadier back in October 2021 when it said it will cooperate on the development with AVL, one of the world’s leading automotive powertrain engineering specialists. The automaker’s parent company produces over 400,000 tonnes of low-carbon hydrogen annually and a fuel-cell version of the off-roader sounded like a reasonable next step.
It turns out, it was not. Especially for the time being, the hydrogen infrastructure isn’t developed enough to support the launch of a production hydrogen off-roader. About a year ago, Ineos Automotive CEO Dirk Heilmann said a hydrogen Grenadier would not arrive until 2027 "at the earliest." Meanwhile, the firm is considering a battery-powered version of the SUV, as well as another slightly smaller electric off-roader.