Ineos owner Ratcliffe lobbies Labor to develop hydrogen refueling network.

Ineos owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe has urged Sir Keir Starmer to support the development of a nationwide hydrogen refueling infrastructure to help drive demand for the zero-emission vehicles if Labor wins the upcoming general election.

The petrochemicals giant entered the automotive sector with its Grenadier off-road vehicle in 2022 and is currently developing a hydrogen Grenadier prototype using BMW fuel cell technology.

Ratcliffe’s efforts aim to avoid the disorganized introduction of the UK’s battery electric car-recharging network.

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Frustrated by the government’s lack of preparation for hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles, Ratcliffe was reported by the Times to have discussed the need for a strategic approach with Starmer if Labor wins the next election.

The two are said to have become acquaintances and recently attended a Manchester United match together.

By 2035, the UK plans to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles, which is expected to boost the demand for hydrogen fuel cells as a zero-emission alternative to battery electric cars in certain sectors.

Hydrogen fuel cells are said to be better for longer-distance and heavier vehicles, those which are needed for work specific as emergency service vehicles and off-road transport.

Both BMW and Toyota have shown interest in fuel cell technology for vehicles.

Back in Britain, Ineos is developing a strong stake in the sustainable industry, largely through its Inovyn subsidiary, which works in the production and storage of green hydrogen.

Ratcliffe also has plans to introduce a fuel cell alternative to the Ineos Grenadier, the off-road SUV.

It comes as the UK government received criticism over the rollout of EV charging systems, with researchers earlier this year finding it was not fit for purpose.

It is believed there is widespread dissatisfaction among EV and plug-in hybrid (PHEV) vehicle owners, with 69% of drivers complaining about the current charging network, a Which? survey showed.

High costs, faulty equipment, confusing payment methods and a lack of pricing transparency were all given as reasons for the dissatisfaction.

Battery cells are favored for long-distance driving, heavy-duty vehicles, off-road capabilities, and emergency services.

Major automotive groups Toyota and BMW are developing hydrogen technology for the auto sector.

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Ineos owner Ratcliffe lobbies Labor to develop hydrogen refueling network. source