UK announces £20m funding for innovative electric vehicle ideas

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The Government is launching a research and development competition, open to some of the most promising electric vehicle technology innovations. This could include zero-emission emergency vehicles, charging technology or EV battery recycling.

Innovative ideas for zero-emission vehicles could benefit from a share of £20m, which will help boost the UK in EV design and manufacture, which could create around 6,000 skilled jobs over the next decade.

The Department for Transport, through the Office for Zero Emissions (OZEV), will be allocating £18m for new projects through the Transitioning to Zero Emission Vehicles (TZEV) competition, delivered through Innovate UK.

A further £2m will be allocated to support SME innovation in emerging zero-emission vehicle technologies, through the Niche Vehicle Network (NVN).

The funding could support projects to find solutions to:

  • Research to support investment in battery recycling which could lead to a UK based gigafactory
  • Technology solutions to improve zero emission vehicle range capability
  • Innovation to increase the adoption of zero-emission vans and to support the transition for specialist vehicles e.g. emergency service vehicles
  • Improve public residential charging in towns and cities for people without access to off-street parking.

“Investing in innovation is crucial in decarbonizing transport, which is why I’m delighted to see creative zero-emission projects across the UK come to life,” said UK transport secretary Grant Shapps.

“The funding announced today will help harness some of the brightest talent in the UK tech industry, encouraging businesses to become global leaders in EV innovation, creating jobs and accelerating us towards our net-zero ambitions.”

Among the previous winners is a zero-emission ambulance prototype for London Ambulance Service. Designed by ULEMCo, the ambulance can reach speeds of 90mph and travel an average of 200 miles a day with zero emissions.

Another successful bidder was tech start-up Urban Foresight, which was given £3 million to develop pop-up chargers that rise up out of the pavement to provide a discreet, safe and low-cost EV charging solution to those without off-street parking.

David Watson, CEO and founder of EV smart charging company Ohme, commented on the funding:

“If we’re to meet the UK’s ambitious 2030 climate goals, we need to see much more concerted investment in innovative technologies that can accelerate our progress towards electrification. So it’s encouraging to see the government supporting businesses who are leading the charge here and making the EV revolution a reality.

“But it’s important to remember that the electric vehicles themselves are just one piece of the puzzle. In addition to vehicle technology, charging infrastructure and battery production, we also need to prioritize investments in smart charging solutions that will manage demand, balance the grid and facilitate a smooth transition to zero-carbon transport.”


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