Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, will work with the Department for Transport to invest up to £140 million in innovation projects. As part of the Zero Emission Road Freight (ZERFT) Demonstration programme, this competition will focus on the largest heavy goods vehicles (HGVs). The programme will support government’s commitment to end sales of all new, non-zero emission HGVs by 2040 and enable continued cross border freight.
The Zero Emission Road Freight programme competition is funding demonstrations across 3 strands:
The aim of this strand of the competition is to kick-start the deployment of long haul zero emission HGVs, with a multi-year combined demonstration of 40-44t battery electric trucks and hydrogen fuel cell trucks. Including the development of the required business models for scalable deployment and a network of dedicated infrastructure.
Your proposal must define the zero emission road freight demonstration which you will conduct. The demonstration will collect data to inform future policy decisions and infrastructure choices.
Your project must:
Your project must have a total grant funding request between £30million and £140million
You must only include eligible project costs in your application.
Under current restrictions, this competition will not fund any procurement, commercial, business development or supply chain activity with any Russian or Belarusian entity as lead, partner or subcontractor. This includes any goods or services originating from a Russian or Belarusian source.
To lead a project your organisation must:
If the lead organisation is an RTO it must collaborate with 2 or more businesses.
Academic institutions cannot lead or work alone.
Non-UK businesses can apply to this competition in reference to activities they are considering undertaking in the UK. The business must be registered in the UK before any funding can be awarded.
To collaborate with the lead, your organisation must be one of the following UK registered:
Each partner organisation must be invited into the Innovation Funding Service by the lead to collaborate on a project. Once accepted, partners will be asked to login or to create an account and enter their own project costs into the Innovation Funding Service.
To be eligible as a collaboration the lead and at least one other organisation must claim grant funding.
Your project can include partners that do not receive any of this competition’s funding, for example non-UK businesses. Their costs will count towards the total project costs.
Subcontractors are allowed in this competition.
The aim of this competition, as part of the Zero Emission Road Freight Demonstration programme, is to focus on the largest heavy goods vehicles (HGVs).
We expect to fund up to 5 demonstrations covering all technologies that are in scope, across the three strands of this competition. We are looking for projects that include multiple vehicle and infrastructure suppliers and that demonstrate a wide range of duty cycles with multiple freight operators.
The programme will fund costs associated with project delivery, vehicle access and recharging or refuelling infrastructure during the period from when the project starts, up until 31 March 2025. All vehicles and infrastructure funded must be demonstrated for 5 years.
Innovate UK encourages and is particularly interested in proposals with micro, small or medium-sized enterprise (SME) collaborative involvement.
This strand will fund multi-year on-road combined demonstrations of battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) as part of your standard freight operations.
Your project's size must enable a demonstration of at least 40 trucks split between at least 4 operators and supported by at least 3 recharging or hydrogen refuelling locations. Your application must meet this scale and have a grant funding request of between £30million and £140million.
Your proposal must:
International freight operations are acceptable, but we will not fund infrastructure or operations originating outside the UK.
Successful projects and operators demonstrating vehicles will be required to engage with contractors from Innovate UK and Department for Transport (DfT). They are independently evaluating the zero emission road freight demonstrations, see background and supporting information.
Projects can use existing or planned infrastructure where it is compatible with their demonstration and appropriate for long haul HGVs.
We encourage projects to demonstrate links to other initiatives, such as the OFGEM Strategic Innovation Fund and the Net Zero Hydrogen Fund. We may prioritise hydrogen projects that have a focus on the Tees valley area.
You can propose a demonstration using a proportion of vehicles that are not type approved or are produced by an organisation with an annual production intent of less than 500 vehicles. The following limits are set:
You must provide a clear justification that this approach allows you to demonstrate best in class technology, maximise UK content, and that production can be scaled to enable rapid deployment of the core technology.
You can downplate a maximum of 30% of your 40-44t GVW demonstration vehicles or operate them exclusively for lighter loads. This must be part of a well justified plan to demonstrate technical and operational capability of the core zero emission HGV technology, particularly where these are the first vehicles to be demonstrated. These vehicles must be used as a pathfinder towards heavier vehicles.
Your demonstration can use rigid HGVs at a maximum of 5% of your deployment. It must be part of a well justified approach to explore a mainstream use case or duty cycle.
You can propose a demonstration using limited quantities of hydrogen that does not meet the UK’s draft low carbon hydrogen standard up to 31 March 2025. This is only where essential to supply sufficient quantity of hydrogen to deploy vehicles.
Hydrogen refuelling can be supported through the Department for Transport’s Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO) scheme, or other appropriate mechanisms.