Berliner Tageblatt - Man Utd's Ratcliffe unveils electric Ineos car

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Man Utd's Ratcliffe unveils electric Ineos car
Man Utd's Ratcliffe unveils electric Ineos car / Photo: © AFP

Man Utd's Ratcliffe unveils electric Ineos car

Manchester United's new co-owner Jim Ratcliffe unveiled Friday his Ineos group's latest 4x4 vehicle, which will come in two electric versions as the British billionaire criticised range limits on 'green' cars.

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The Ineos Fusilier, whose production should start in 2027 rather than 2026 as planned, will be a slightly smaller version of the Ineos Grenadier -- and comes as it works on a second model, the Grenadier Quartermaster pickup truck.

Ratcliffe, 71, earlier this week completed a deal to become co-owner of Manchester United, with a pledge to drive the English football giants to renewed success.

Asked by AFP at Friday's launch about his off-pitch plans at United, including a stadium rebuild, Ratcliffe replied: "The focus with Manchester United is really simple, that's performance on the field."

One of Britain's richest men thanks to Ineos' core chemicals business, Ratcliffe has in recent years turned the group into a conglomerate, with ownership of football and cycling teams -- and production of vehicles.

On Friday, he noted that a desire by subsidiary Ineos Automotive to produce zero-carbon cars was hampered by how far they could travel without a recharge.

- 'Huge electric car failings' -

This is why The Fusilier would come in two versions, Ratcliffe announced -- an all-electric model and the other a range-extender type which would carry both a generator-powered battery and fuel tank.

Ratcliffe told a press conference gathered at a central London pub that his personal preference was the latter version.

"The big problem I have with the (all-) electric vehicle... it has two huge failings," he said shortly after the blue car's unveiling outside The Grenadier pub renamed The Fusilier for the event.

"It doesn't get you from A to B if you want to go on a decent journey. It does the urban stuff very well... (but) you can't fill it up. Those are two major drawbacks of an electric car."

Ratcliffe added: "My personal strong preference is the same electric vehicle but with a range extender."

Ineos said the new model would be developed in conjunction with automotive supplier, Magna, which will manufacture the vehicle at its Graz facility in Austria.

It was originally thought that the car would be produced in France.