Transitioning towards Zero Emission Vehicles: CR&D

UK registered businesses can apply for a share of up to £7 million, to develop on-vehicle solutions that address challenges associated with the transition to zero emission vehicles.

Opportunity Details


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Your project’s total eligible costs must be between £300,000 and £600,000. Up to 70% of costs can be covered.



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In this competition, we are looking for solutions that address one or more of the following challenges:

  • improve ZEV range capability
  • increase adoption of small commercial ZEVs
  • support transition to zero emission for special use vehicles
  • improve ZEV user experience
  • improve sustainability of ZEVs

Projects which address these challenges can use new, highly innovative solutions or advance an existing innovation or R&D project.

We are seeking to support both the feasibility and the development of the proposed solutions in two competition strands:

  1. feasibility studies
  2. collaborative research and development (this strand)

A parallel competition hosted on the Innovation Funding Service will address the challenges associated with infrastructure solutions for zero emission vehicles.

It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure they apply for the correct competition.

Your project must:

  • have total eligible costs between £300,000 and £600,000
  • start by 1 Aug 2021
  • end by 31 March 2022
  • last up to 8 months

To lead a project or work alone your organisation must:

  • be a UK registered business of any size
  • carry out its project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK

To collaborate with the lead, your organisation must:

  • be a UK registered business, academic institution, charity, not-for-profit, public sector organisation or research and technology organisation (RTO)
  • carry out its project work in the UK
  • ·intend to exploit the results from or in the UK

Academic institutions must have their research team ready to start at the beginning of the project.

The maximum number of organisations allowed in a consortium in this competition is 3, including the lead. This maximum number includes non-grant claiming partners, but not subcontractors.

Your project must offer a solution that addresses one or more of the challenges associated with increasing the uptake in zero emission vehicles (ZEVs), including:

  • improve ZEV range capability
  • increase adoption of small commercial ZEVs
  • support transition to zero emission for special use vehicles
  • improve ZEV user experience
  • improve sustainability of ZEV

Projects must:

  • develop on-vehicle technologies that deliver zero tailpipe emissions, speeding up their introduction to the market
  • justify how the technology improves overall vehicle efficiency and lifecycle CO2 emissions
  • validate the technology in a relevant environment, for example through a development mule or adapted current production vehicle for higher maturity technologies
  • where applicable, define appropriate representative real-world operating conditions, and a suitable comparator technology or vehicle against which the project will measure the carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) baseline and improvements
  • deliver zero emission vehicles technologies at a lower cost than today without compromising their safety or capability
  • provide evidence that the durability, integrity, and safety of any technology proposed is in line with industry and consumer expectations
  • show that you can realistically produce the technology at a price the market is willing to pay when commercialising
  • show how the future supply chain will be developed.
  • consider approach to manufacturing including at the target scale and using advanced approaches
  • show a clear route to market including appropriate business models to exploit the technology commercially
  • show a reduction of the environmental impact of the technology including resource efficiency and end of life options such as recycling, remanufacturing or reuse
  • identify an appropriate end customer(s) or route to commercialisation

Technology transfer projects from other transport or energy sectors are welcome.

Projects can cover both niche and mainstream on-road vehicles under 3.5tonnes in categories L (mopeds and motorcycles only), M (passenger) and N (goods). Special use vehicles such as emergency vehicles (e.g. ambulances and fire engines), refuse collection vehicles, and recreational vehicles (e.g. motorhomes) will also be in scope.

If you are unsure whether your vehicle is included in the special use vehicles category, please contact with a description of the vehicle.

Your application must focus on at least one of the following challenges.

You must clearly identify the primary challenge for assessment purposes. Your solution can cover several challenges but will be assessed against the primary challenge selected.

Examples of each challenge are in ‘Supporting information’.

Challenge 1 – Improve ZEV range capability

Advances in zero emission on-vehicle technologies to improve EV range anxiety by enabling increased vehicle range, efficiency or capability.

Challenge 2 – Increase adoption of small commercial ZEVs

Tackling on vehicle technological challenges associated with under 3.5tonne commercial vehicles, including fleets, to improve operational performance or total cost of ownership.

Challenge 3 – Support transition to zero emission for special use vehicles

Technological solutions for special use vehicles, such as emergency vehicles, which are technically challenging but need to make the transition to zero.

Challenge 4 – Improve ZEV user experience

Technologies which improve ZEV user experience by for example improving mobility, road-side recovery or their use in a recreational setting.

Challenge 5 – Improve sustainability of ZEVs

Solutions that enable battery recycling facilities.

An online briefing event was held at 10am on Friday 12th March: the recording will appear here when available.


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