Hyundai Motor Co. and chemical company Ineos have announced plans to jointly investigate opportunities for the production and supply of hydrogen as well as the worldwide deployment of new hydrogen applications and technologies.
The companies have signed a memorandum of understanding initially aimed at facilitating public and private sector projects focused on the development of a hydrogen value chain in Europe.
The two companies will also work together to explore the use of the Hyundai fuel cell system in the Ineos Grenadier vehicle, the utilitarian vehicl that Ineos will be launching some time early in 2022. Prototype testing is currently underway. Named after Ineos owner Ratcliffe’s favourite pub in London, the Grenadier closely resembles the Land Rover Defender, production of which was discontinued in 2016.
The boxy, off-road rugged exterior of the new SUV, however, belies a future zero-emission powertrain designed to meet tightening environmental standards around the world. While the first editions to be launched will have internal combustion engines - BMW 3-liter, six-cylinder petrol and diesel engines, to be exact - this new cooperation represents an important step in Ineos’ efforts to diversify the Grendier’s powertrain options at an early stage, the company said.
Hyundai’s proprietary modular fuel cell system, already set for prototype vehicles, has proven reliable and effective in the Hyundai Nexo SUV, which has the longest driving range among hydrogen-powered vehicles in the market. Hyundai started the world’s first mass production of fuel cell electric vehicles in 2013.
Under Hyundai’s mid- to long-term roadmap, known as Fuel Cell Vision 2030, the car maker plans to increase annual production of hydrogen fuel cell systems to 700,000 units by 2030.
“Hyundai believes this will provide an important low-carbon option across a wide range of sectors,” said Saehoon Kim, senior vice president and head of the fuel cell center at Hyundai Motor Company.
Ineos recently launched a new business to develop and build clean hydrogen capacity across Europe in support of the drive towards a zero-carbon future. The company currently produces 300,000 metric tons of hydrogen a year, mainly as a by-product from its chemical manufacturing operations. Through its subsidiary Inovyn, Ineos is Europe’s largest existing operator of electrolysis, the critical technology that uses renewable energy to produce hydrogen for power generation, transportation and industrial use.
“The agreement between Ineosand Hyundai presents both companies with new opportunities to extend a leading role in the clean hydrogen economy,” said Ineos Technology Director Peter Williams.
“Evaluating new production processes, technology and applications, combined with our existing capabilities puts us in a unique position to meet emerging demand for affordable, low-carbon energy sources and the needs of demanding 4x4 owners in the future,” he said.