Currently reading: New hydrogen-only car firm launches with Pininfarina concept
Chinese start-up reveals Granite concept and Obsidian SUV at Shanghai, shares 'global ambitions' to expand fuel cell technology

New Chinese start-up Grove, which claims to be the world’s first hydrogen fuel cell-only mass production company, has launched at the Shanghai motor show with a concept car designed by Italian styling house Pininfarina.

The concept car is the result of a “wide-ranging” deal between Pininfarina and Grove, which is based in the Chinese province of Wuhan and has a design studio in Barcelona, Spain.

The Grove Pininfarina concept is a striking four-door coupé-style saloon, with a bold front grille and a highly sculpted rear diffuser. It also features frameless doors and cameras in place of wing mirrors. No technical or performance details have been revealed.

While the firm has not confirmed a name for the car in press materials, the rear number plates suggests it uses the moniker Granite. 

Grove is currently developing a range of hydrogen-powered vehicles, beginning with a four-door SUV called the Obsidian, which was also on display in Shanghai. The firm has said that this machine will have a range of up to 625 miles, with a powertrain that use regenerative charging to regain energy under braking.

The company aims to start sales in China later this year, with volume production starting in 2020, and plans to expand into other markets with the goal of becoming “a world leader in clean transportation”.

Grove recently secured an agreement to expand into Australia and New Zealand, but there are no details of European expansion plans yet.

Grove Hydrogen was established by the Chinese Institute of Geosciences and Environment, which currently manufactures and distributes hydrogen extracted from industrial waste. The Institute says it is working with large Chinese cities to install and expand hydrogen a charging infrastructure in the coming years.

Pininfarina has also designed a new Karma sports car, which is on display in Shanghai.

Read more

The greatest cars by Pininfarina

New Karma Revero GT and Pininfarina GT revealed at Shanghai show

Shanghai motor show: news, notes and updates

Hydrogen cars won't be marketable 'until 2020', says VW

James Attwood

James Attwood, digital editor
Title: Acting magazine editor

James is Autocar's acting magazine editor. Having served in that role since June 2023, he is in charge of the day-to-day running of the world's oldest car magazine, and regularly interviews some of the biggest names in the industry to secure news and features, such as his world exclusive look into production of Volkswagen currywurst. Really.

Before first joining Autocar in 2017, James spent more than a decade in motorsport journalist, working on Autosport,, F1 Racing and Motorsport News, covering everything from club rallying to top-level international events. He also spent 18 months running Move Electric, Haymarket's e-mobility title, where he developed knowledge of the e-bike and e-scooter markets. 

Join the debate

Add a comment…
xxxx 17 April 2019

Going backwards

Hydrogen has been a source of power for cars since BMW tried 25 years ago and yet Hyundai £63k effort is still a big big loss leader. It's still more than twice as much as the profitable LEAF and uses 4 times as much enegy/money to run.

Hydrogen car sales in the US are dropping (Clarity FCEV sold 9 in 3 months) despite $30k+ benefits being gifted with the car. Toyota lose huge amounts of money on the hydrogen project so it can only be a matter of time before they see their mistake and produce a BEV.

jason_recliner 17 April 2019


Hyundai releases a hydrogen car that's cheaper than many BEVs, then mere days later the first hydrogen car company is announced!  The rate of hydrogen power progress is staggering.

Interesting that an Australian deal has already been finalised.  The CSIRO recently developed technology for handling bulk hydrogen (as NH3).  Maybe there is a relationship between CSIRO and Grove?

Exciting times!

xxxx 16 April 2019

Good luck with that

How can it claim mass production when not even 1 will produced until sometime in 2020, I'd be surprized if they've even a large factory yet. They obviously haven't seen the Mira's or even the Honda Clarity sales stats!