Electrified Grenadier

Stu_Barnes

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Ok, so we're thinking of petrol/gasoline v. diesel. But both of these fuels have a shelf life in Europe, the USA and a few other markets. I find it hard to believe that Ineos would put in so much to design an internal combustion powered vehicle right when they are being legislated out of production. 

So for me there's an elephant in the room, and it's electric. Surely they didn't go to all this trouble to have a production run of a decade or so? at least I hope not.
 

ChasingOurTrunks

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Electric is an option for Ineos - the payload is high enough that I would presume the vehicle is tough enough for a good load of batteries while still preserving it's function.

But I'd bet money on Hydrogen for Ineos's future over Electric. There's a few reasons for this:

1) Electricity still has to come from somewhere. In most of the world, in excess of 60% of electrical generation is provided by burning of fossil fuels. Throwing a million electric cars on the road will increase the demand on the grid, and fossil fuels are still the cheapest way to scale up. This is very much a regional stat - in places like Canada with an abundance of hydroelectric options, our context is a bit different than in, say, the southern USA. 

I think that in cities, electric cars will take off very quickly. I think in rural areas, it won't. That leads me to...

2) Ineos is aiming this rig at professionals, and that means they must be able to make it work in places that don't even have what most of us would consider roads -- I'm thinking of the kinds of places the Halo Trust operates, who we know is one of Ineo's partner. So if they are over a hundred years behind on road infrastructure, I can't see them developing electrical charging infrastructure in these remote areas anytime soon. And there are significant cost savings for having common fuels on remote worksites -- for instance, the US Army did a custom commission of a bunch of diesel-powered KLR-650s specifically because they wanted to be able to fill all their gear out of the same fuel source. That brings me to 3)

3) What are the main sources of fuel for people outside of city living? It's still very much a diesel world. Transport trucks, ships, tractors, heavy equipment, etc. are all dependent on diesel. And while we've got some phenomenally good technology in our passenger cars to make EVs work well, the problems of this industrial equipment are totally different than the problems faced by passenger transportation -- you can improve EV range with things like aerodynamics, weight savings, regenerative breaking, etc. -- but the goal is all about travel distance. WIth heavy kit, it's all about the ability to do work, and aerodynamics of a backhoe are not going to make a big difference in it's overall efficiency. And, batteries are just not where they need to be to make them a suitable source of the kilowatts of energy needed for big equipment. 

That's why I think Hydrogen is likely the future, and that brings me to 4:

4) Ineos is first and foremost a chemical company and so they have a solid grip on hydrogen production and technology.

5) Plus, a bonus point - Ineos has partnered with Hyundai on their hydrogen fuel cell technology; I've seen no such partnerships with the big EV tech companies, and I think this is a clue about where Ineos is planning on going: https://www.ineos.com/news/ineos-group/ineos-and-hyundai-motor-company-cooperate-on-driving-the-hydrogen-economy-forward/

I went looking for info further to point 3 above, and found an article that summarizes the state of electric heavy equipment. There is some out there. Volvo is working on some, but their prototypes use electric actuators instead of hydraulics. That is not going to be as powerful, dollar for dollar, as hydraulic systems. Bobcat has one that can work for "a full for an eight-hour day on its lithium-ion batteries when coupled with an external supercharger with normal work breaks factored in. The excavator takes just two and a half hours to charge." -- but again, note the need for supercharger infrastructure. Caterpillar is having some success here, but the batteries are heavy -- over 3 tons for an excavator that can only work for 5 hours. In many sites, these rigs are running 24 hours a day. 5 hours isn't going to cut it. I'm not saying that electric heavy equipment won't work, but the battery tech isn't where it needs to be to support a big, heavy industrial application. Power density of batteries isn't there yet, and neither are charging rates, which are only useful in places with electrical infrastructure and many instances of heavy equipment use don't yet have that. 

Alternatively, hydrogen can be filled from a truck and used a few minutes later, far more akin to diesel, so I think it makes more sense in that regard, and that's why I think Ineos would be wise to follow suit. 

Edit: The Forum Software is giving me a bit of trouble, here are the links from the above post:

Ineo's partnering with Hyundai:  https://www.ineos.com/news/ineos-group/ineos-and-hyundai-motor-company-cooperate-on-driving-the-hydrogen-economy-forward/

Article on electrified heavy equipment:  https://www.constructconnect.com/blog/electric-dreams-will-heavy-construction-equipment-go-electric


 

dominicperry

New Member
Founding Guard
I liked the idea of the ClassicEV modded Defender - add batteries and a motor to good/restored LR chassis - but it's an expensive way of doing things, and you still end up with a very old design of car. (I do like the idea of avoiding drive-by-wire and all the other autonomous tech).
But taking a 10 or 20 year old Grenadier and retro-fitting whatever battery and motor tech exists then, sounds like a more realistic proposition. Or I'll trade my 10 year old Grenadier for a hydrogen or electric one, depending on what Ineos are making at the time. 
 

d1rty

New Member
Founding Guard
Agree with all the points above.  Ineos is invested in hydrogen production; I'd bet a hydrogen version comes before all electric.

I'm also not sure that simply converting existing ICE platforms to electric is the way to go.  Look at the difference between the Audi eTron and the Tesla Model Y.  The Model Y is lighter, better range, lower CG, etc.  All because it was designed around the battery pack, not designed around ICE and retrofitted to be electric.

Or more on point, look at Rivian vs Ford lightning.  I guess that converting a full-size ladder frame truck is the least bad option (as opposed to a unibody CUV), but still, designed from the ground up yields better results.

Could an electric retrofitted Grenadier work?  Sure.  But I'd rather see one designed from the ground up as electric, it will be better.
 

Stu_Barnes

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https://newsroom.toyota.eu/toyota-mirai-breaks-world-record-for-distance-driven-with-one-fill-of-hydrogen/

1003 km!! Ok so thats in an ideal world, but its still pretty good at 623 miles.

Totally agree with the above comments. It will be interesting to see where the partnership with Hyundai goes. From a pure common sense point of view why not engage a chemical company to help with the design of fuel cell technology. 

And let's not forget, the concept of an onboard water supply is rather seductive ? , as well as having an on board power supply. 
 

Spjnr

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Hyundai's Xcient hydrogen trucks are already running around in Switzerland proving their effectiveness. IMO there may not be a single winner between battery EVs and HFC vehicles, but rather a divide in usage much like petrol and diesel today. 

BEVs will make up the majority of passenger cars, city utiity vehicles like taxis and local delivery vans. They dont need to go far, can charge anywhere, and have no need for weight carrying capability.

HFCs will cover larger Vans, Trucks, Lorries, bigger long distance coaches, Offroaders, aswell as plant machinery etc. They can operate for longer durations, with quicker refill times, and less requirement for a hardwired "electrical grid"

There would be some overlap, but in my mind this would be the best way to please everyone, including the polar bears. Now for governments to start investing in Hydrogen infastructure to get the ball rolling !
 

Michael Gain

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I'm roughly ignorant to the hydrogen fuel cells, but did some googling. Like @Spjnr stated, it seems like it may be a difficult sell here in the states. We lack the appropriate infrastructure to refuel those cars.

I do remember propane powered buses in some cities, and some of our fleet cars are propane powered. I doubt Ineos will r&d so many different options.

I would be happy with the diesel.
 

Stu_Barnes

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So, as I understand it hydrogen is at ambient temperature in its tank at the 'gas station' I say that because there is one at the end of my street in a tank thats just sitting there for the Mirai's....

Anyway, this above ground tank is coupled with a dispensing unit like a fancy atm with a hose. So it lends me to thinning that if they really wanted, and I'm not saying it would be efficient, but if 500 semi's or artics if you're in the UK went out to 500 gas/petrol stations then you'd potentially have 500 more hydrogen charging stations. Of course you'd need some electrical supply to power the control systems. But and this is a big but, it would be much less intensive of the electrical grid than a pure battery powered system.

So as a stop gap, or as a solution, a major chemical company that is very used to commercially producing and storing hydrogen, I'm thinking of you Ineos, could standardize a skid based distribution system, and own the 'power' supply system as wells the end product, legislation dependent of course.
 

Michael Gain

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Would definitely be interested once the infrastructure catches up. A quick Google search shows that hydrogen is more expensive than gasoline. But, I am sure that will even out once supply / demand balances.
 

Stu_Barnes

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So looking at Hyundais existing hydrogen electric propulsion system specs they don't appear too bad

When you get down to the efficiency part is where it gets interesting for me. The most efficient small, as in road transportation internal combustion engines are less than 50% thermally efficient.

So if this is Hyundais first go at this then the future looks bright. As long at they can get the infrastructure in place to support the platform.  

At the very least its something I'll be very interested following, while I'm driving my petrol Grenadier that is ?
 

Stu_Barnes

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Hydrogen does have a battery pack as well lets not forget, but nowhere near as large as a purely electric vehicle. Fingers crossed they sort out super capacitors soon, that coupled with a hydrogen fuel cell would be epic. 

Given the opportunity I'd plumb for the hydrogen powered version. Provided of course there was a commitment to extend or even start a hydrogen supply network.
 

g5gin

New Member
The appeal of the Grenadier for me was no electric.  It seems they are conflicted regarding the intent of the Grenadier.... market it as a vehicle with purpose or another asphalt biased, electric soccer mom transport.  Built to be repairable in the field.... They should stick to their original intent as there will be plenty of electric mall/shopping vehicles already out there. We are going to end up in a ecological nightmare with all of these electric cars and their waste.
 
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