Hyundai has announced to cooperate with the British chemical company Ineos on the topic of hydrogen and fuel cell drives. This will involve the production and supply of hydrogen, but also a specific vehicle project.
According to the Memorandum of Understanding now signed, the partners want to jointly investigate possibilities for the production and supply of hydrogen as well as the global use of hydrogen applications, technologies and business models. The Hyundai Motor Company announced this.
The initial focus will be on the development of a corresponding hydrogen infrastructure in Europe. According to the communication, both companies will try to “to facilitate public and private sector projects focused on the development of a hydrogen value chain in Europe”.
As part of the MoU, the partners also want to investigate and evaluate whether the fuel cell drive system developed by Hyundai is also suitable for the Ineos Grenadier SUV. Ineos plans to launch the vehicle in the style of the old Land Rover Defender next year; probably initially with straight six-cylinder engines (gasoline and diesel) from BMW. Ineos is also considered a potential buyer for the smart plant in Hambach, France, which the Daimler Group plans to sell.
As Hyundai now writes, the evaluation of the Nexo drive is “an important step in INEOS’ efforts to diversify its powertrain options at an early stage”. The fuel cell drive in the Hyundai Nexo SUV delivers 120 kW and offers a standard range of over 700 kilometres.
A manager of Ineos Automotive explained to Autocar why the fuel cell and not a battery-electric drive is seen as an electrification option for the Grenadier: Because of its off-road use. “We’re looking to build a very functional, utilitarian 4×4 that can work in the middle of nowhere,” said Mark Tennant, commercial director of Ineos Automotive. “To take up a useable payload with a battery pack that would make the range adequate for those sorts of applications doesn’t make sense. That’s why we’re looking at hydrogen fuel cells.”
Ineos, through its subsidiary Inovyn, is one of the largest operators of electrolysis plants in Europe and has expertise in hydrogen production and storage. “Evaluating new production processes, technology and applications, combined with our existing capabilities put us in a unique position to meet the emerging demand for affordable, low-carbon energy sources and the needs of demanding 4×4 owners in the future,” said Peter Williams, Technology Director of Ineos.
“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. “We also hope our decades-long expertise in hydrogen fuel cell work in synergy with INEOS’ expertise in the field of chemistry to realise the mass production of green hydrogen and fuel cells for the Grenadier.”
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