INEOS adds electrified SUV model with range-extender

The INEOS Automotive story began in 2017 when the Chairman of the INEOS Group, Sir Jim Ratcliffe (who has 25% ownership of Manchester United) wanted a replacement for the original Land Rover Defender he had owned. Jaguar Land Rover had ended production of the classic model and he  proposed to Jaguar Land Rover to buy over their tooling and continue production in his own company.

So what had started off like a venture to start a factory to make a SUV he was fond of for himself became a business, with the first model being the Grenadier (named after his favourite pub) available in three bodystyles.

INEOS Grenadier
One of the three bodystyles for the Grenadier which has petrol or diesel engines supplied by BMW.

While the Grenadier uses BMW combustion engines (petrol and diesel), INEOS has also been mindful of the need to do its part to cut emissions from automobiles. Last year, it demonstrated its wider commitment to future decarbonisation with the Grenadier Hydrogen Fuel Cell Technology Demonstrator. This prototype shows that a hydrogen-fuelled 4×4 is possible but with the infrastructure to supply hydrogen is still very limited so INEOS doesn’t see it as being commercial viable yet.

INEOS Fusilier Range Extender EV [2024]
As with the Grenadier, it looks like Sir Jim Ratcliffe (pictured) chose another pub for the name of INEOS’ new model.
Two electrified powertrains
Instead, it has developed the Fusilier which is available with powertrains that still generate zero or lower emissions – battery electric and range-extender. The availability of two types of powertrains is a practical approach; the battery electric powertrain is good for urban and suburban motoring where charging stations will be accessible, while the range-extender allows for longer journeys without ‘range anxiety’.

INEOS Fusilier Range Extender EV [2024]

The range-extender concept uses a small petrol engine which serves as a generator to recharge the battery while on the move. It is unlike a hybrid powertrain which also has a self-charging battery but the engine works with the electric motor to move the vehicle. With a range-extender, the engine only serves to power the generator whenever it needs to recharge the battery. Thus, the vehicle is powered only by electricity and generate no exhaust emissions.

Range virtually unlimited
The range-extender approach is suitable for those who drive longer distances and even go off-road. The range limitations are no different from a SUV with a combustion engine; where there’s a petrol station, the fuel tank can be topped up. And unlike charging stations, petrol stations are all over the planet and even deep in jungles in some cases. Plus, extra petrol can also be carried along and you can’t say that for electricity (until EVs can be charged from powerbanks!).

INEOS Fusilier Range Extender EV [2024]

To be built by Magna in Austria
The Fusilier, which has been developed in conjunction with Magna in Austria (and which will also build it), has the Grenadier’s DNA but is be slightly shorter in length and slightly lower in height. It will be built on a bespoke skateboard platform with a steel top and underbody, and aluminium doors and closures to reduce weight.

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“As we developed this vehicle, we quickly concluded that in order to move towards decarbonisation but continue making cars that consumers want to drive, we need a mix of powertrain technologies. Batter electric vehicles are perfect for certain uses – shorter trips and urban deliveries – but industry and governments need to have realistic expectations around other technologies that can help accelerate the necessary pace of change.,” explained Sir Jim.

“That is the reason we are offering an additional powertrain for the Fusilier, one that dramatically reduces emissions but has the range and refuelling capabilities needed,” he added. “We believe the addition of a range-extender electric to our line-up will offer our customers a very low emission drive without the range anxiety drivers of electric vehicles experience today.”

INEOS Fusilier Range Extender EV [2024]

INEOS Grenadier Pick-Up joins 4×4 range

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