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Motorbikes to large trucks: developing zero emission vehicles


Motorbikes to large trucks: developing zero emission vehicles

Businesses can apply for a share of £20 million to support development of technologies that allow a range of vehicles to be zero emission.

Innovate UK and the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) have up to £20 million to invest in new vehicle technologies. This is the 14th competition under their integrated delivery plan (IDP).

Government’s ambition is for nearly all cars and vans on UK roads to be zero emission by 2050. It aims to support the acceleration towards zero-emission vehicles through technology development, particularly where this can significantly reduce system costs.


Projects could look at:

  • electric machines and power electronics
  • energy storage and energy management
  • lightweight vehicle and powertrain structures
  • highly disruptive zero emission technologies
  • propulsion for zero emission medium and heavy goods vehicles

Medium and heavy goods vehicle projects could focus on the main powertrain and also on auxiliary power systems such as for refrigeration or trailer equipment.


The funding

Up to £18 million is set aside in this competition for research and development projects that develop technologies to support the transition, and a further £2 million is set aside for smaller feasibility studies.

Funding for the competition includes £15 million from OLEV and £5 million from the Faraday Challenge. This is the part of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund that will particularly support battery technology.

OLEV was set up to work across government to support the early market for ultra-low-emission vehicles. It is providing £900 million to help place the UK at the forefront of development, manufacture and use of low emission vehicles.

Competition information

  • The competitions for research and development and feasibility funding are open, and the deadline for applications is at midday on 13 December 2017;
  • A briefing event will be held on 27 September 2017; 

    a section of the event will be available via webcast and you can register to participate online here.

Feasibility studies

The funders expect feasibility studies to have total project costs of up to £250,000 and to last up to 12 months. Find out more about Feasibility Studies and apply here

  • Projects must be led by a business working with at least one partner;
  • Businesses could attract up to 70% of their eligible project costs

Research and Development

The Funders expect research and development projects to have total costs of between £250,000 and £4 million and to last between 12 months and 3 years. Find out more about R&D projects and how to apply here


  • projects must be led by a business working with at least one partner and include an appropriate end customer
  • businesses could attract up to 70% of their eligible project costs

Interested in working wth Heriot-Watt on this initiative. Read about 'our' work on LNG with Dearman and power systems for refrigeration here and here and here and here

Contact Toby Peters, Heriot Watt, Visiting Professor, Transformational Innovation for Sustainability, Heriot-Watt University here


Here at Heriot-Watt, Professor Peters is working on clean cold chains to address post harvest food waste sustainably - both from the basics through to advanced systems using AI and Blockchains. With Professor Peters, the university has ambitious plans to establish Centres of Excellence in Clean Cold Chains in India and Africa.

"The lack of adequate cold chains leads to the waste of 200 million tonnes of food - with consequences far beyond hunger and inflated food prices. Food wastage occupies a land area almost twice the size of Australia; consumes 250km3 of water per year, three times the volume of Lake Geneva; and emits 3.3 billion tonnes of CO2, making it the third biggest emitter after the US and China. But simply expanding the use of conventional, highly polluting cold chain technologies would simply mitigate one problem by significantly worsening another. Additionally Cold chains don’t just reduce post-harvest food loss, but also allow farmers to earn more by maintaining the quality of their produce and selling it further afield, including internationally. But only if the farmer can get it there in the same condition as produce imported by air-freight from a highly developed global agri-business and cold chain".

If you are interested in this work, we want to hear from you. Contact us at or

See also the Centre for Sustainable Road Freight or contact







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