€2bn investment

Hydrogen car helps steer Ratcliffe’s green ambitions

Fuelling change: Ineos is promoting hydrogen-powered vehicles

Chemicals tycoon Sir Jim Ratciffe will be showcasing a hydrogen-powered car at the COP26 climate summit as part of a campaign to promote his company’s €2 billion transition to green energy.

Ineos, which owns part of the Grangemouth complex and is a backer of the Great Britain cycling team, will also launch a hydrogen bus tour and next year introduce a hydrogen-fuelled version of his Grenadier 4×4.

Sir Jim says: “Hyundai, BMW, Mercedes etc. have many demonstration hydrogen engines happily driving around.   We will have a hydrogen INEOS Grenadier on test next year (alongside an electric version).  This piece of the jigsaw is the most advanced.”

The company’s INEOS automotive division is backing hydrogen fuel cells as the clean powertrain solution for future versions of its upcoming 4X4 vehicle.

Thanks to a partnership agreement signed in November 2020, the Grenadier hydrogen fuel cell concept will use fuel cell technology from Hyundai Motor Company, with testing to begin by the end of 2022.

Jim Ratcliffe

Sir Jim Ratcliffe: part of a jigsaw

In a linked development, INEOS subsidiary INOVYN, Europe’s largest existing operator of electrolysis, and Ballymena-based Wrightbus have today announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding to increase the use of hydrogen across heavy-duty fleets in the UK, such as buses, construction vehicles and trucks. 

The companies will work with the UK Government to realise the deployment of hydrogen which needs support on infrastructure, legislation, and investment.

Wrightbus has developed the world’s first hydrogen powered double decker bus which is equipped with a hydrogen fuel cell powertrain and its battery pack can store up to 48KWh that allows the bus to travel up to 280 miles, emitting water rather than carbon dioxide as it goes. 

In the longer term, hydrogen’s other massive contribution to the reduction of greenhouse gases will be in the home heating space where natural gas can be replaced by hydrogen which could cut greenhouses gases by up to a third on its own.

INEOS already produces and uses 400,000 tonnes of low carbon hydrogen every year, the equivalent of replacing up to 2 billion litres of diesel. It knows how to make, transport, store and use hydrogen.

Wherever possible, INEOS said it will continue to prioritise the production of green hydrogen which is made from water using electrolysis powered by renewable energy, but it is also investing in the production of blue hydrogen when the carbon produced can be safely captured and stored underground.

In a message to the UK government Sir Jim, said: “The infrastructure, clearly critical, needs government push on legislation and investment. 

“The German government is well advanced with €9bn committed and over 200 filling stations operational. 

“The UK government has yet to get out of the blocks but hopefully soon will.  The UK has only a handful of hydrogen pumps today.”

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