ZEVI: Battery electric vessels and charging infrastructure

Apply for a share of up to £77m to develop, deploy and operate clean maritime solutions for 3 years in a real world environment.

Opportunity Details


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Your project’s total costs must be between £3m and £40m. The grant funding can cover up to 70% of R&D costs and 80% of capital costs, depending on business size, but cannot exceed £20m.


Innovate UK

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Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, will work with the Department for Transport (DfT) to invest up to £77 million in innovation projects. These projects will develop, deploy and operate clean maritime solutions for 3 years in a real world environment.

The Zero emission vessel and infrastructure (ZEVI) competition is part of a suite of interventions being launched by the UK Shipping Office for Reducing Emissions (UK SHORE), part of DfT. They aim to transform the UK into a global leader in the design and manufacturing of clean maritime technologies.

The aim of the overall competition is to fund:

  • 100% battery electric vessels
  • alternative fuel vessels
  • vessel energy efficiency technology, such as wind assistance
  • vessel charging infrastructure
  • shore power and corresponding vessel technology
  • alternative fuel refuelling infrastructure for vessels

For strand 1, your project must focus on 100% battery electric vessels and their corresponding infrastructure.

The Zero emission vessel and infrastructure competition is funding multi year demonstrations across 3 strands:

Your demonstration must include the zero emission vessel and infrastructure being used in a representative real world operational environment for a period of 3 years.

It is your responsibility to ensure you submit your application to the correct strand for your project. You will not be able to transfer your application and it will not be sent for assessment if it is out of scope.


Your project must:

  • have total costs of between £3 million and £40 million
  • not exceed a grant request of £20 million
  • start by 1 October 2023
  • claim all grant funding by 31 March 2025
  • complete a 3 year demonstration of all funded vessels and supporting infrastructure
  • carry out all of its project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK

The funding period for your project can last for a maximum of 20 months, the project funding period.

You must complete your funded project and 3 year demonstration of all vessels, with corresponding infrastructure, no later than 31 March 2028.

Lead organisation

To lead a project your organisation must:

  • be a UK registered business of any size (including Trust ports and Municipal ports)
  • be a ship owner or manufacturer or operator (ship as defined in the Merchant Shipping Act (MSA) 1995 Section 313(1)), or an infrastructure owner or operator, such as a port or windfarm
  • collaborate with a UK registered infrastructure owner or operator if you are a ship owner, manufacturer or operator
  • collaborate with a UK registered ship owner, manufacturer or operator if you are an infrastructure owner or operator

Non-UK business can apply to this competition in reference to activities they are planning to undertake in the UK. The business must be registered in the UK before any funding can be awarded and all work must be undertaken in the UK.

To collaborate with the lead, your organisation must be one of the following UK registered:

  • business of any size
  • academic institution
  • charity
  • not for profit
  • public sector organisation
  • research and technology organisation (RTO)

There is no limit to how many applications an organisation can submit in this competition, either as a lead or partner. If you are involved in more than one application, you must clearly state how all projects can be resourced and delivered if successful.

You can request funding for your eligible, capital project costs and your non-capital research and development (R&D) project costs. These costs must be listed separately in your application. Your total grant request must be no more than £20 million against your total project costs.


For strand 1, your project must focus on 100% battery electric vessels and their corresponding infrastructure. The infrastructure must be able to charge the vessels for the requirements of their operational activities.

Your project can include multiple vessels and infrastructure locations and demonstrate a wide range of operational profiles. A project with a single vessel and single infrastructure location will be in scope if this is appropriate for the operational activities of that vessel.

Your project will be funded from the agreed start date up until 31 March 2025, for costs associated with:

  • project delivery
  • vessel development
  • infrastructure development

You must demonstrate all funded vessels and infrastructure for 3 years, at your own cost, ending 31 March 2028.

You must engage with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) during the project. The MCA may also contact successful projects to discuss the details of your project. Failure to engage with the MCA when requested could result in your project being suspended or funding withdrawn.

Your proposal must:

  • define the 3 year deployment and demonstration that you plan to conduct, including all associated costs and the range of operational use cases
  • focus on maritime and the development of a sustainable and scalable approach to zero emission vessels and infrastructure
  • present a well-rounded and industrially driven consortium capable of rapid deployment
  • evidence that you can acquire or build vessels and supply the infrastructure needed to carry out a successful demonstration in the required timeframe
  • define a long term strategy to decarbonise this sector, with a viable commercialisation route to expanding nationally and internationally

Technologies for all sizes and categories of maritime vessel subject to the Merchant Shipping Act 1995 are in scope. Solutions and demonstrations can be suitable for one target size of vessel or multiple types. Pleasure and commercial vessels are in scope.

The vessel must be a United Kingdom ship, as defined in 85(2) of the Merchant Shipping Act 1995, or you must provide clear justification for use of a non-United Kingdom ship in your application.

All ports and harbours are in scope, including infrastructure for freight, passenger, pleasure and commercial vessels. Offshore infrastructure is also in scope, such as wind farms.

For further specific requirements for vessels and infrastructure, see the “Find out more and apply” link below.

Specific themes

Your project can focus on one or more of the following:

  • domestic green corridors
  • ferry services, including between islands and on inland waterways

Briefing and support

A video briefing for all 3 strands is available here. There will also be an in-person briefing in London on 9th February – click here to book a place.

If you want help to find a project partner, contact Innovate UK KTN’s Transport or Infrastructure teams.


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