Is This the Hydrogen-Powered Defender Clone of your Dreams?

Have you always dreamed of driving a hydrogen-powered Defender? Well, your dreams may kind of come true. INEOS Grenadier 4×4 is going green thanks to Hyundai’s hydrogen fuel cell technology.

In a newfound partnership that I never could have imagined, Korean carmaker Hyundai and English 4×4 maker INEOS announced this week that the two are partnering to provide INEOS’ Grenadier (better known as the old Defender clone) with a hydrogen fuel cell power plant.

“The agreement between INEOS and Hyundai presents both companies with new opportunities to extend a leading role in the clean hydrogen economy,” said Peter Williams, INEOS’ Technology Director. “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 4×4 owners in the future.”


Photo: Hyundai

Photo: Hyundai

The power plant in question will come from Hyundai’s NEXO SUV, an alternative energy-powered vehicle that’s proven its reliability. Facing a future in which internal combustion engine-powered vehicles — 4×4 or otherwise — may soon be made redundant by regulations (especially in Europe), it makes sense for INEOS to look to greener powertrain options.

READ MORE: RIVIAN R1T & R1S: HOW WE’D BUILD IT

INEOS makes more than a last-gen Defender clone, its subsidiary, INOVYN, 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. INOVYN’s experience in storage and handling of hydrogen, combined with its established know-how in electrolysis technology, puts INEOS in a unique position to drive progress towards a carbon-free future based on hydrogen.


Photo: INEOS

Photo: INEOS

If and when we’ll ever be able to see a hydrogen-powered Grenadier here in the U.S. is unclear. Further questionable still its the viability of a hydrogen fuel cell powered overland vehicle. If we worry an EV might be tricky to power reliably on an overland journey, imagine a rig that requires hydrogen. That stuff is tough to find even in the city, let alone the backcountry.

Nevertheless, it’s cool to see brands pushing the boundaries of 4×4 powertrains. So, kudos, Hyundai and INEOS.


Header image: INEOS

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