Ineos Drives towards Hydrogen Car Future

An Ineos hydrogen-fuelled Grenadier car is driven on a test track during a 'Roadmap to Decarbonisation' event. Adrian DENNIS / AFP
An Ineos hydrogen-fuelled Grenadier car is driven on a test track during a 'Roadmap to Decarbonisation' event. Adrian DENNIS / AFP
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Ineos Drives towards Hydrogen Car Future

An Ineos hydrogen-fuelled Grenadier car is driven on a test track during a 'Roadmap to Decarbonisation' event. Adrian DENNIS / AFP
An Ineos hydrogen-fuelled Grenadier car is driven on a test track during a 'Roadmap to Decarbonisation' event. Adrian DENNIS / AFP

At a sprawling vehicle test center in the English countryside, a hydrogen-powered Grenadier 4x4 made by Ineos Automotive grips steep and rugged tracks, showcasing its off-road capabilities.
Making the demonstrator car was "a really obvious thing" to do, the company's chief executive Lynn Calder told journalists at the unveiling this week, AFP reported.
The young, fast-expanding company is part of petrochemicals giant and hydrogen producer Ineos, run by British billionaire and Manchester United stakeholder Jim Ratcliffe.
"When we embarked upon the demonstrator project, we saw the opportunity to showcase... that we have a completely uncompromised Grenadier in net zero form," she said at the event called "Road to Decarbonisation".
'Not this decade'
Calder cautioned it would be some time before the car was available to buy amid a limited offering of other hydrogen-powered vehicles that are helping drive a path towards net zero carbon emissions.
Ineos cites the high cost of extracting the Earth's most abundant element and a lack of hydrogen refueling stations, especially in the UK, as obstacles to the development of cars deemed greener than popular electric vehicles (EVs).
Is the car "for tomorrow? No because there isn't infrastructure there", Calder said.
"We will keep it warm, we'll continue to talk about it, we will see it as part of the future but it doesn't feel like it's this decade," she added.
Calder spoke from the UTAC vehicle test center in Millbrook, a village north of London, where the hydrogen-powered vehicle quietly navigated dusty sharp bends and other obstacles.
Hydrogen cars work thanks to the cleanest form of the gas combining with oxygen in a fuel cell to generate electricity. The only waste emitted is water vapor.
Hydrogen-powered buses, cars, trucks and vans are all on the market, made by a small number of companies including Hyundai, Renault, Toyota and Vauxhall.
With governments pressuring the auto sector to go green, Ineos Automotive plans to launch an electric 4x4 in 2027, the Fusilier, to be sold alongside current diesel and petrol versions of the Grenadier.
Speaking against the din of sports cars speeding in the distance, Calder hit out at the UK government's goal of banning the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2035.
'Pipe dream plan'
"I don't think it works, I don't think it's achievable, I think we will fail," she predicted, even after Prime Minister Rishi Sunak pushed back the original 2030 date.
The Scottish CEO called it a "pipe dream plan with no strategy around it, no idea how we're going to get there".
Responding, the Department for Transport said a number of incentives were on offer to enable the transition away from polluting vehicles.
It added that demand for EVs was "high", even if recent data shows evidence of slowing sales in the UK and abroad.
Regarding infrastructure, "there are over 61,000 public chargepoints across the UK -- an increase of 44 percent since this time last year", a department spokesperson told AFP.
According to consultants LBST, only 921 hydrogen refueling stations were in operation worldwide at the end of last year.
China was out in front with around 200 stations, or about double the amount in European leader Germany.
The UK currently has just six, even if hydrogen vehicles can offer a longer journey range and are faster at refueling than electric rivals.
Election impact
The country's road to net zero is clouded somewhat by the outcome of this year's general election.
Polls widely suggest that Sunak's Conservatives will lose power to the main opposition Labour Party.
Labour's plans for emissions targets have been called into question after leader Keir Starmer ditched its flagship commitment to spend £28 billion ($35.5 billion) a year on green infrastructure if in power.
Greenpeace UK's senior transport campaigner, Paul Morozzo, called on the next government to reinstate the 2030 ban and increase tax on polluting vehicles.
He added that it must "get on with delivering a proper network of EV charging points all across the country and get the transition to EVs back on the road".
As for hydrogen, with so little infrastructure, the fuel "isn't viable or desirable for mass transit" at the current time, he told AFP.



8.5 Million Computers Running Windows Affected by Faulty Update from CrowdStrike

A technician works on an information display near United Airlines gates at Chicago O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, Friday, July 19, 2024, after a faulty CrowdStrike update caused a major internet outage for computers running Microsoft Windows. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
A technician works on an information display near United Airlines gates at Chicago O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, Friday, July 19, 2024, after a faulty CrowdStrike update caused a major internet outage for computers running Microsoft Windows. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
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8.5 Million Computers Running Windows Affected by Faulty Update from CrowdStrike

A technician works on an information display near United Airlines gates at Chicago O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, Friday, July 19, 2024, after a faulty CrowdStrike update caused a major internet outage for computers running Microsoft Windows. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
A technician works on an information display near United Airlines gates at Chicago O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, Friday, July 19, 2024, after a faulty CrowdStrike update caused a major internet outage for computers running Microsoft Windows. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

As the world continues to recover from massive business and travel disruptions caused by a faulty software update from cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike, malicious actors are trying to exploit the situation for their own gain.
Government cybersecurity agencies across the globe and even CrowdStrike CEO George Kurtz are warning businesses and individuals around the world about new phishing schemes that involve malicious actors posing as CrowdStrike employees or other tech specialists offering to assist those recovering from the outage.
“We know that adversaries and bad actors will try to exploit events like this,” Kurtz said in a statement. “I encourage everyone to remain vigilant and ensure that you’re engaging with official CrowdStrike representatives.”
According to The Associated Press, the UK Cyber Security Center said they have noticed an increase in phishing attempts around this event.
Microsoft said 8.5 million devices running its Windows operating system were affected by the faulty cybersecurity update Friday that led to worldwide disruptions. That’s less than 1% of all Windows-based machines, Microsoft cybersecurity executive David Weston said in a blog post Saturday.
He also said such a significant disturbance is rare but “demonstrates the interconnected nature of our broad ecosystem.”
What's happening with air travel? By late morning on the US East Coast, airlines around the world had canceled more than 1,500 flights, far fewer than the 5,100-plus cancellations on Friday, according to figures from tracking service FlightAware.
Two-thirds of Saturday’s canceled flights occurred in the United States, where carriers scrambled to get planes and crews back into position after massive disruptions the day before. According to travel-data provider Cirium, US carriers canceled about 3.5% of their scheduled flights for Saturday. Only Australia was hit harder.
Canceled flights were running at about 1% in the United Kingdom, France and Brazil and about 2% in Canada, Italy and India among major air-travel markets.
Robert Mann, a former airline executive and now a consultant in the New York area, said it was unclear exactly why US airlines were suffering disproportionate cancellations, but possible causes include a greater degree of outsourcing of technology and more exposure to Microsoft operating systems that received the faulty upgrade from CrowdStrike.
How are healthcare systems holding up? Health care systems affected by the outage faced clinic closures, canceled surgeries and appointments and restricted access to patient records.
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, Calif., said “steady progress has been made” to bring its servers back online and thanked its patients for being flexible during the crisis.
“Our teams will be working actively through the weekend as we continue to resolve remaining issues in preparation for the start of the work week,” the hospital wrote in a statement.
In Austria, a leading organization of doctors said the outage exposed the vulnerability of relying on digital systems. Harald Mayer, vice president of the Austrian Chamber of Doctors, said the outage showed that hospitals need to have analog backups to protect patient care.
The organization also called on governments to impose high standards in patient data protection and security, and on health providers to train staff and put systems in place to manage crises.
“Happily, where there were problems, these were kept small and short-lived and many areas of care were unaffected” in Austria, Mayer said.
The Schleswig-Holstein University Hospital in northern Germany, which canceled all elective procedures Friday, said Saturday that systems were gradually being restored and that elective surgery could resume by Monday.