The United States automotive industry is in the middle of a huge transformation. With stricter laws on global emissions in place, more automakers are joining the EV revolution, and Hyundai is no exception. In fact, the automaker is the first to launch a fuel-cell SUV in 2018: the Hyundai Nexo.
When the Nexo was released, it boasted a 380-mile range that could rival Tesla models. Unfortunately for the company, the $58,735 price tag was too steep for customers, especially for a new breed of vehicle. It’s no surprise that sales for the Nexo have been slow in the US despite selling 10,000 units in South Korea in the same year.
This time, Hyundai is giving the initiative another go, but it won’t be taking on the challenge on its own. The carmaker will be working with Ineos to build a hydrogen-powered version of an off-roader inspired by the Land Rover Defender called the Grenadier.
Aside from building the vehicle, the two companies will also be working on the joint production and supply of the alternative fuel source in hopes of accelerating the growth of hydrogen-powered vehicles in North America.
The Ineos Grenadier will feature the rugged styling and off-road-readiness of the Defender while using turbocharged gasoline and diesel engines supplied by BMW. It will also be offered with Hyundai’s very own fuel cell system as part of a “memorandum of understanding to explore new opportunities to accelerate the global hydrogen economy.”
This fuel cell system is the same used in the Nexo, which produces 160 horsepower and 290 lb-ft of torque to the front wheels with the help of a single-speed gearbox. The exact specifications of the Grenadier, however, have not been revealed.
“Ineos’ move into the development of a fuel cell electric vehicle and hydrogen ecosystem marks yet another milestone towards sustainable and clean transportation,” said Saehoon Kim, Hyundai’s Senior Vice President and Fuel Cell Center head.
Through the partnership, Hyundai can also increase its annual production of hydrogen fuel systems from the current 300,000 tons to 700,000 units by the year 2030.