There are three separate strands to this competition: all projects must be collaborative, and led by a UK registered business or RTO.

Strand 1 – electric road systems

Your project’s total eligible costs must be between £500,000 and £2 million.

The aim of this competition is to fund ambitious feasibility studies for a future zero emission road freight demonstration using an electric road system (ERS).

Your project must deliver an advanced feasibility study on the future deployment of an electric road system for 44 tonne zero emission road freight.

Your study must determine and present the feasibility of a scaled demonstration. You may wish to define and explore multiple scenarios, scales, and locations to suit different funding options. This could include a minimum viable product and an ideal demonstration scenario.

You must ensure that your project engages with stakeholders who are critical to any future deployment. These include Highways England and National Grid.

Your project must:

  • include planning, preliminary engineering designs and site (demonstration route) surveys
  • include full costing for the demonstration
  • factor in any contingency with links to projects risks identified
  • include steps to ensure the pre-authorisation or approvals have been considered in depth and progressed to a satisfactory (but non-committal) point
  • target a solution for 44-tonne trucks
  • consider the truck and battery practicalities when the vehicles are not connected to the electric road system, for example, truck charging at a depot or charging at strategic points within the demonstration area
  • include vehicle parameters to enable the trucks use on UK roads
  • consider factors for international freight such as interoperability with other electric road systems and standards

Strand 2 – hydrogen fuel cell vehicles

The aim of this competition is to fund ambitious feasibility studies for a future zero emission road freight demonstration of hydrogen fuel cell trucks. Your study must determine and present the feasibility of a scaled demonstration.

You may wish to define and explore multiple scenarios, scales, and locations to suit different funding options. This could include a minimum viable product and an ideal demonstration scenario.

You must ensure that your project engages with stakeholders who are critical to any future deployments. These include Highways England and other relevant infrastructure and refuelling suppliers.

Your project must focus on delivering an advanced feasibility study on the use of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles for zero emission road freight.

Your project must:

  • include planning, preliminary engineering designs and site (demonstration route and refuelling infrastructure) surveys
  • include full costing for the demonstration
  • factor in any contingency with links to projects risks identified
  • include steps to ensure the pre-authorisation or approvals have been considered in depth and progressed to a satisfactory (but non-committal) point
  • propose a fully zero tailpipe carbon emission demonstration
  • consider hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and infrastructure
  • use ‘green’ hydrogen produced solely from renewable sources for the trucks
  • use a quantity of trucks which match the scale and ambition of each scenario whilst maximising learning and providing value
  • target a solution for 44-tonne trucks
  • include full costing for the demonstration factoring in any contingency with links to projects risks identified
  • focus on demonstration of zero emission trucks in favour of production of hydrogen
  • ensure the demonstration you propose is supported by a strategic network of hydrogen refuelling stations
  • describe the planning and preliminary engineering stages for hydrogen refuelling stations including new facilities and those which complement existing infrastructure
  • describe the planning, preliminary engineering designs and site (demonstration route and refuelling infrastructure) surveys
  • consider real-world operation demonstration
  • conduct pre-deployment work for a demonstration which is expected to run for 5 years
  • describe the hydrogen distribution and refuelling infrastructure which is required to meet the proposed demonstration
  • consider demonstration locations, routes and the associated technical and operational factors

Strand 3 – supply chain technology

Internal combustion engines which use fossil fuels or fuels containing carbon are not in scope for this competition.

The aim of this competition is to fund ambitious industry-led research into supply chain technology for zero emission capable freight vehicles over 3.5 tonnes and the supporting infrastructure.

Your proposal must:

  • address the challenges associated with the transition to zero emission road freight
  • define a solution to the technical challenges to developing or operating zero emission trucks

At the end of the feasibility study or industrial research, your project must have reached one of the following stages:

  • be ready to continue in future R&D competitions
  • be able to raise private sector investment to take the project outcome to market

Examples of technologies in scope include:

  • electrification of conventional powertrains towards zero emission, including hybridisation
  • new and novel e-powertrains solutions where the project does not include costs related to any conventional engine R&D work
  • hydrogen projects where the innovation focuses on fuel cell development or use of hydrogen to produce electricity
  • zero carbon emission combustion technologies which offer an immediately deployable solution and are considerate and reflective of air quality requirements
  • retrofit of existing vehicles to support their operation on a catenary or other electric road system solution
  • trailer technologies that enable zero emission capability for the tractor unit, including auxiliary power systems, such as for refrigeration or trailer equipment.
  • efficiency improvements specific to zero emission heavy goods vehicles
  • technologies which enable the construction and scalable installation of hydrogen refuelling infrastructure or electric road system infrastructure
  • hydrogen refuelling or electric road system infrastructure system or subsystem innovations
  • innovations in the interface between hydrogen supply (refuelling) and the vehicle

Your project can focus on one or more of the following to address the challenges associated with the transition to zero emission road freight:

  • power electronics, machines and drives
  • energy storage and energy management
  • lightweight vehicle and powertrain structures
  • infrastructure for hydrogen refuelling and electric road systems
  • highly disruptive zero emission technologies

 

Common factors for all 3 strands

To lead a project your organisation must:

(The above criteria for leading a project are common to all 3 strands.)

In all strands, projects must start by 1 July 2021 and end by 31 March 2022.

There is an additional, separate competition to provide an innovative solution to enable fleets to switch to battery electric trucks. Projects can range in size up to total costs of £10 million, inclusive of VAT, and the application deadline is 21st April 2021: click here for details.

A briefing event was held on 23rd March: view the recording here.