Challenge Details

Challenge: Zero emission auxiliary energy supplies for utility and community vehicles

Ten local authorities within the Cardiff Capital Region program have committed to explore solutions that will enable zero-emission council owned fleets and to create demonstrable innovation projects that will help proliferate mass deployment. At a workshop this summer a number of challenges and opportunities this KTN iX™ will address were identified.

For example, Monmouthshire council want to switch their own fleet to electric but have some challenging operations for vehicles that require significant on-board energy use.

The council offer a meals on wheels service(with six vehicles) and wants to utilise a system to allow meals to be heated at the point of service, but this requires several on-board microwaves to heat on demand. This requires an increase of energy of around 5-10 kWh. Other utility vehicles such as parks and recreation have similar needs as the auxiliary equipment moves to electric rather than petrol.

The auxiliary energy supply must be easy to charge/refill once back at the depot and ideally via the vehicle system. It must be capable of providing a pure sine wave AC output and should be as light as possible to avoid creating any gross vehicle weight issues and have a relatively small volume. It must be zero emission at the point of use.

Solutions should:

  • Work across multiple vehicle types
  • Be cost competitive and have a long cycle life
  • Could be battery or hydrogen powered but must be zero emission
  • Have a useable energy output of 7-10kWh
  • Be easy to use
  • Retrofittable onto existing fleet
  • Able to charge/refill at depots without the need for extensive infrastructure upgrades

CCR comprises 10 Local Authorities and solutions that come forward should bring benefit and scalability to allow eventual deployment across all LAs.

Proposals are welcome for:

  • Existing market-ready technologies
  • Established solutions from other sectors of industry which can be adapted for this application.
  • Development proposals based on existing competences.
  • Universities and catapults with solutions above TRL 5 +

Potential solutions may come from;

  • Automotive
  • Rail
  • Construction and infrastructure
  • Heavy engineering
  • The Energy Sector
  • or from organisations with relevant expertise operating in any industry sector.

The challenge owners will not consider solutions that involve:

  • Solutions that are not scalable across and modular in approach
  • Use of fossil fuels

Rewards and benefits

Successful applicants will be invited to

  • Pitch their solutions at a KTN chaired session (January 2022) attended by representatives of the participating Local Authorities and the CCR
  • Potential access to innovation deployment through the CCR Challenge Fund Programme (Challenge Fund – Cardiff Capital Region) which runs between 2021 until 2024, funding is initially being made available for market testing and exploring LEV Fleet Innovation opportunities for the region, aligning with, and building on existing infrastructure investments with a view to unlocking commercial opportunities and addressing public services needs in the region.
  • Presentations can uploaded to KTNs Innovation Marketplace which is open to all Local Authorities

Solution Requirements

Functional Requirements

  • Must be vehicle agnostic
  • Must integrate with wider systems where possible
  • Must be easy to understand how the system is working
  • Should be lightweight and have as small a volume as possible with suitable fixing points.
  • Must be cost competitive

Technical Characteristics

  • Varied operational site and location conditions.
  • Long cycle life required
  • Modular approach
  • Necessary safety mechanisms and certifications

Operating Conditions

  • Will need to be operable by non-technical staff
  • Energy source will need to work in a wide range of temperatures
  • Will need to be suitable for use in a moving vehicle

Cost requirement and market opportunity

  • Costs will be proportional to deployability and demonstrated benefit
  • For the right product, the solution could be used across the clients portfolio and wider
  • Solutions should be deployable by June 2022
  • At the pitch day the solution provider will need to provide some indicative costing for the solution

Eligibility and assessment criteria

  • Collaborative solutions (B2B and B2R&D) are valid applications. If collaborative solutions are being tabled a single lead organisation needs to register the application. This organisation can be either an industrial or academic partner.
  • This opportunity is open to both academic and industrial practitioners
  • Industrial participants should be established businesses, start-ups, SMEs or individual entrepreneurs
  • All organisations participating in this programme including members of collaboration not registering as lead organisations need to be UK based or have the intention to set up a UK base.
  • Although not essential for the assessment process, Welsh based companies offering solutions will be keenly encouraged as well as consortia programmes involving one or more Welsh based practitioners.
  • Technology based and dependant solutions are expected to be around TRL 5 + (more on Technology Readiness Levels)