Ineos delays Fusilier indefinitely over electric vehicle uncertainty

Ineos has delayed the launch of its new Fusilier 4×4 until further notice, citing weak demand for electric vehicles and uncertainty around governmental EV policies. 

The second model from the 4×4 company of chemical magnate Sir Jim Ratcliffe was due to enter production in 2027, but its launch has now been pushed back indefinitely as Ineos waits for the EV market – and the legislative framework around it – to mature.

While it will be offered with a pure-electric drivetrain, the Fusilier is also planned to be available with a petrol range-extender in a bid to increase its off-road range – and in recognition, Ratcliffe has said previously, of “the clear limitations of battery-electric in certain situations”.

At the unveiling of the Fusilier earlier this year, he was vocal about his reticence towards pure-EV propulsion. He said: “We have to have [an EV] whether we like it or not, but we like it, as it’s important to the world.

“The US takes a different view to the EU in wanting to see the trajectory on CO2 go down, but they are open to different solutions and don’t want to force customers.

“Our instinct was to follow the industry with an EV, but a few months ago we paused. My big problem with EVs is that there are two huge failings: they don’t do A to B as a decent journey and you can’t then fill it up.”

Now, as first reported by Bloomberg, the company has delayed the launch of the car entirely.

In a statement sent to Autocar, Ineos Automotive said: “We are delaying the launch of the Ineos Fusilier for two reasons; reluctant consumer uptake of EVs and industry uncertainty around tariffs, timings and taxation. 

“Charging infrastructure for EVs in most markets continues to grow and consumer confidence will match that,  but for the industry to meet net-zero targets there needs to be long-term clarity from policy makers and a number of technology options available considering factors like raw materials, infrastructure and affordability.”

The firm said it is “committed to bringing an EV to market, not just because of legislation but because we want to – it is the right thing to do”, but as a small-volume manufacture it is only able to  “produce vehicles that will sell”.  

The most recent figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show that demand for electric vehicles in the UK actually rose 6.2% year-on-year in May, to give them a 17.6% market share. The SMMT notes, though, that this “encouraging” performance still falls short of the 22% EV sales mix imposed by the UK government’s zero-emission vehicle mandate this year. 

Ineos was specifically critical of the ban on combustion car sales that will be imposed in the EU and the UK in 2035 – which Labour has pledged to bring forward to 2030 in the UK if it wins the general election tomorrow (4 July). 

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