Hydrogen Fuel Cells: The Future of Motoring?

Electric vehicles (EVs) are widely seen as the future of motoring. However, not everyone agrees that plug-in electric cars are the only solution. Some, including Ineos owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe, believe hydrogen fuel cells have a significant role to play.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe unveiled the Fusilier outside the pub he owns - The Grenadier - in Belgravia, London in Febrauary. The Fusilier will come in two variants: A range-extender (REx) hybrid and an all-electric battery version (BEV)

Ineos’s Hydrogen Exploration

Ineos is developing the Fusilier, a rugged 4×4 EV, and exploring hydrogen power. At the Ineos Road to Decarbonisation event in Bedfordshire, Freda Lewis-Stempel from This is Money tested the prototype hydrogen fuel cell Grenadier. Despite its different power source, it promises the same off-roading capability as its petrol and diesel counterparts.

This is Money tested out the prototype hydrogen Grenadier at the Ineos Road to Decarbonisation event in Bedfordshire last month
The hydrogen vehicle (left) is exactly the same as the petrol and diesel Grenadiers, except for that bulbus bonnet. The FCEV promises to deliver exactly the same world leading off-roading, without compromise on range like a BEV would

What is a Hydrogen Fuel Cell Car?

Battery electric vehicles (BEVs) are common zero-emission vehicles. However, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (FCEVs) are another zero-emission option. In FCEVs, hydrogen and oxygen react to produce electricity, water, and heat. These vehicles are refuelled at a pump, similar to petrol or diesel cars, offering an advantage over BEVs which face range and charging limitations.

Driving the Hydrogen Grenadier

Off-roading in the hydrogen Grenadier feels like floating, a contrast to the usual rocky experience. The vehicle is nearly silent, with a faint high-pitched whir that may be inaudible in the final version. It uses a 115K fuel cell from BMW and stores hydrogen in two 2kg tanks, which may increase in future models. The prototype has a range of 120 miles, while the target is 370 miles.

Will Ineos Sell a Hydrogen Fuel Cell Grenadier?

Ineos showcased its hydrogen Grenadier prototype at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. However, CEO Lynn Calder emphasised that hydrogen cars might not be market-ready this decade. The lack of hydrogen infrastructure is a significant barrier. There are currently only six hydrogen refuelling stations in the UK, compared to over 62,000 EV charging points.

In the hydrogen Grenadier the off-roading experience has been transformed: you’re almost floating

The Future of Hydrogen in Motoring

Hydrogen vehicles have advantages for off-roading, including lighter weight and no towing restrictions. Ineos plans to continue developing hydrogen technology, aligning with its broader investment in green hydrogen projects across Europe. The company aims to promote a multi-powertrain future, combining hydrogen, range-extender, and battery electric options.


Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, like the Ineos Grenadier, offer a promising alternative to traditional EVs. While the infrastructure is currently lacking, continued investment and development could make hydrogen a viable option for the future of motoring.

Because it's so easy to drive, the FCEV would be a good option for a newbie greenlaner
One-pedal drive controls the car, with the electric motors stepping in where differential locking normally would