Funding competition Zero emission road freight battery electric truck demonstration

UK registered organisations can apply for a share of up to £140 million to demonstrate battery electric trucks.

This competition is now closed.

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Competition sections


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 demonstration of 40-44t battery electric 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.

It is your responsibility to ensure you are submitting your application to the correct strand for your project.

If you apply to the wrong competition you will be made ineligible and will not be sent for assessment, you cannot transfer your application.

Your application will not be sent for assessment if it is out of scope.

In applying to this competition, you are entering into a competitive process. This competition closes at 11am UK time on the deadline stated.

Funding type


Project size

Your project’s total grant funding request must be between £20 million and £90 million.

Who can apply

Your project

Your project must:

  • start on 1 March 2023
  • claim the grant funding by 31 March 2025
  • complete your project and 5 year demonstration of all vehicles funded by the programme no later than 31 March 2030
  • carry out all of its project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK

Your project must have a total grant funding request between £20 million and £90 million.

You must only include eligible project costs in your application.

If your total project’s grant funding request or duration falls outside of our eligibility criteria, you must provide justification by email to at least 10 working days before the competition closes.

We will decide whether to approve your request. If you have not requested approval or your application has not been approved by us, you will be made ineligible. Your application will then not be sent for assessment.

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.

Lead organisation

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.

Project team

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.

Subcontractors can be from anywhere in the UK and you must select them through your usual procurement process.

You can use subcontractors from overseas but must make the case in your application as to why you could not use suppliers from the UK.

You must provide a detailed rationale, evidence of the potential UK contractors you approached, and the reasons why they were unable to work with you. We will not accept a cheaper cost as a sufficient reason to use an overseas subcontractor.

All subcontractor costs must be justified and appropriate to the total project costs.

Number of applications

An eligible organisation can lead or collaborate on any number of applications.

Previous applications

You cannot use a previously submitted application to apply for this competition.

We will not award you funding if you have:

Subsidy control (and State aid where applicable)

This competition provides funding in line with the UK's obligations and commitments to Subsidy Control. Further information about the UK Subsidy Control requirements can be found within the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation agreement and the subsequent guidance from the department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

Innovate UK is unable to award organisations that are considered to be in financial difficulty. We will conduct financial viability and eligibility tests to confirm this is not the case following the application stage.

EU State aid rules now only apply in limited circumstances. Please see our general guidance to check if these rules apply to your organisation.

Further Information

If you are unsure about your obligations under the UK Subsidy Control regime or the State aid rules, you should take independent legal advice. We are unable to advise on individual eligibility or legal obligations.

You must at all times make sure that the funding awarded to you is compliant with all current Subsidy Control legislation applicable in the United Kingdom.
This aims to regulate any advantage granted by a public sector body which threatens to, or actually distorts competition in the United Kingdom or any other country or countries.

If there are any changes to the above requirements that mean we need to change the terms of this competition, we will tell you as soon as possible.


Up to £140 million has been allocated to fund innovation projects in this competition. Funding will be in the form of a grant.

You can request funding for your eligible project research and development (R&D) costs and eligible capital costs. These costs must be listed separately in your application.

If successful you will not be able to:

  • reassign capital costs to R&D costs
  • reassign R&D costs to capital costs
  • increase the amount or proportion of grant funding you are requesting for capital costs or R&D costs

The programme will fund costs associated with your project during the period from when the project starts up until 31 March 2025, with all vehicles funded to be demonstrated for 5 years.

The total funding available for the competition can change. The funders have the right to:

  • adjust the funding allocations between the three competition strands
  • apply a ‘portfolio’ approach

Your proposal must demonstrate value for money and your grant funding request must be the minimum needed to make your project viable.

We encourage you to align your funding spend against this profile where possible:

  • from your project start date to 31 March 2023: 30%
  • 1 April 2023 to 31 March 2024: 30%
  • 1 April 2024 to 31 March 2025: 40%

We are collecting this information to help financial forecasting at Innovate UK and the Department for Transport. If you are assessed as eligible for funding, we will take your answer into consideration during our competition portfolio review.

Innovate UK will work with successful projects to enable funding to be claimed and drawn down, to support interim payments defined as part of key commercial agreements between project participants and suppliers. If successful you will be required to evidence commercial agreements with suppliers and draw down the grant according to milestones and terms stated within the agreement.

Funding for the project can only be claimed up until 31 March 2025. Your demonstrations will continue under commercial conditions until the agreed project end.

Research and development costs

If the majority of your organisation’s R&D work on the project is commercial or economic, your funding request to support these costs must not exceed the limits below. These limits apply even if your organisation normally acts non-economically.

For industrial research projects, you could get funding for your eligible project costs of:

  • up to 70% if you are a micro or small organisation
  • up to 60% if you are a medium sized organisation
  • up to 50% if you are a large organisation

For more information on company sizes, please refer to the company accounts guidance. This is a change from the EU definition unless you are applying under State aid.

If you are applying for an award funded under State aid Regulations, the definitions are set out in the European Commission Recommendation of 6 May 2003.

Capital costs

Your application can include the purchase of capital equipment as an eligible project cost for large-scale demonstration projects. Investments must be relevant to the project and the maximum intervention rate on these purchases is up to 80% grant for the duration of the project up until 31 March 2025 for all organisations.

As part of your application, you must calculate the net cost of any capital usage of capital equipment. This must exclude any usage after the project end or any usage that is not part of your project.

You must estimate the residual value and we may independently value capital equipment at the end of the project. Where there is a discrepancy which results in you exceeding the rate of subsidy you have been awarded, this will need to be redressed.

Your eligible capital costs must be the purchase, construction, or upgrade of research resources (including trucks and infrastructure) that perform economic activities.

Your total eligible project capital costs must be the investment costs in intangible and tangible assets. These can relate to trucks or recharging stations.

Access to the research infrastructure (recharging stations) for their operation or use must be open to several users outside of the project, without discrimination and be granted on a transparent basis. Users must be charged the market price.

If an organisation has financed at least 10% of the investment costs of the project infrastructure, it can be granted preferential access under more favourable conditions.The access must be in proportion to the organisation’s contribution to the investment costs and access conditions must be made publicly available, unless within a restricted area.

We will work with successful projects to independently evaluate the programme by collecting data on several factors related to your trucks, infrastructure and wider demonstration. The outcomes of the project will be made openly accessible, however, any sensitive data will be anonymised and remain confidential.

Within a capital infrastructure project involving businesses or collaborations with business and research organisations, if your organisation’s work on the project is commercial or economic, your funding request must not exceed the limits below.

These limits apply even if your organisation normally acts non-economically but for the purpose of this project will be undertaking commercial or economic activity.

Where you are conducting commercial or economic activities (which may include research organisations) as part of the project, you can claim grant funding up to 80% of their eligible project costs. The funding rates are a maximum rate, the funding you request should be the minimum amount to make your project viable.

Funding cannot be used to reduce the total cost of freight operations below the cost of diesel vehicle operations. You will have to submit details of your capital costs as part of your application.

You could get funding for your eligible project capital costs for the duration of the project up until 31 March 2025 of up to 80% of your investment into:

  • battery electric trucks used for your demonstration
  • recharging stations used for your demonstration

You will have to provide a cost breakdown for this in your application. You can contact Innovate UK for clarification about funding levels and eligible costs.

We may contact applicants for further information related to your capital costs after your application has been submitted.

If successful you may be required to claim funding awarded for capital costs separately to your projects R&D costs.

Research participation

The research organisations undertaking non-economic activity as part of the project can share up to 5% of the total grant funding requested. If your consortium contains more than one research organisation undertaking non-economic activity, this maximum is shared between them.

Of that 5% you could get funding for your eligible R&D project costs of up to:

  • 80% of full economic costs (FEC) if you are a Je-S registered institution such as an academic
  • 100% of your project costs if you are an RTO, charity, not for profit organisation, public sector organisation or research organisation

Within that 5% you could also get funding for your eligible capital project costs of up to 80% subject to the capital cost funding rules.

Your proposal

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 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 demonstrations of battery electric heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) as part of your standard freight operations.

Your project's size must enable a demonstration of at least 25 trucks split between at least 2 operators and supported by at least 3 recharging locations. Your application must meet this scale and have a grant funding request of between £20 million and £90 million.

Your proposal must:

  • define the demonstration that you plan to conduct, including all associated costs and the range of operational use cases that you will demonstrate
  • focus on long-haul articulated heavy goods vehicles (40-44t gross vehicle weight) and developing a sustainable and scalable approach to zero emission road freight
  • present a well-rounded and industrially driven consortium capable of rapid deployment
  • evidence that you can acquire the vehicles and supply the infrastructure needed to carry out a successful demonstration in the required timeframe
  • define a demonstration which has a viable route to expanding nationally and internationally, as part of your long term strategy to decarbonise this sector

Demonstration-specific requirements

You must:

  • conduct an ambitious demonstration with focus on the most difficult to decarbonise HGV applications, including long-haul and long-duration high speed operations
  • focus on high utilisation of vehicles and infrastructure, and potential multi-shift operations, to maximise value for money, explore commercial viability and inform an optimal Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)
  • operate zero emission HGVs in various types of locations, whilst performing a range of duty cycles to reflect the variety in HGV operations
  • concentrate some vehicles around your key locations or infrastructure to explore factors associated with future high saturation deployments, fully exploring the boundaries and capabilities of the technology and infrastructure
  • ensure all vehicles funded in your project are in operation by 31st March 2025, vehicles can be deployed earlier or in stages if desired
  • ensure adequate training is provided for all those using the vehicles or infrastructure
  • ensure there are appropriate repair and maintenance provisions for your vehicles and infrastructure
  • share your project’s learning before, during and after your demonstration, both independently and by supporting activities organised by the funders or their agents
  • collaborate fully with organisations responsible for regulation, safety and incident response to conduct a safe demonstration
  • maximise UK value in terms of supply chain and deployment

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.

Vehicle-specific requirements

You must:

  • focus on use of state of the art vehicles that can be scaled, such as those produced by an original equipment manufacturer (OEM)
  • use articulated HGVs, specifically 6x2 or 4x2 axle tractors and semi-trailers with 40-44t gross vehicle weight (GVW)
  • only use battery electric HGVs
  • ensure any ancillary equipment is zero emission in use, including cabin heaters and trailer refrigeration units
  • ensure vehicles are capable of long haul operations
  • include usage of systems which provide vehicle traction power to ancillary equipment, for example power take-off (PTO)
  • ensure demonstrated vehicles meet all safety, regulatory and legal requirements

Infrastructure-specific requirements

You must:

  • ensure all proposed infrastructure funded through the programme is accessible to other operators outside the consortia by appointment
  • ensure infrastructure is located to enable a variety of operations including on-route recharging
  • utilise a proportion of state-of-the-art infrastructure, with the theoretical capability of charging vehicles at around 1MW DC peak
  • meet all safety, regulatory and legal requirements
  • align with current and emerging international standards
  • describe any decommissioning that is required at the conclusion of the demonstration (infrastructure which can viably be repurposed does not require decommissioning)

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.

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:

  • retrofitted diesel (or internal combustion engine) vehicles at 10% of the vehicles demonstrated
  • vehicles produced using a new ‘glider’ chassis at 20% of the vehicles demonstrated, or up to 30% if there are no retrofit vehicles demonstrated

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.

Portfolio approach

We want to fund a variety of projects across different technologies, markets and technological maturities. We call this a portfolio approach.

The programme reserves the right to adjust the distribution of funding across zero emission road freight competitions.

Research categories

We will fund industrial research projects, as defined in the guidance on categories of research.

Projects we will not fund

We are not funding projects that:

  • propose a demonstration using ancillary equipment that is not zero emission, for example, diesel refrigeration
  • use dynamic charging or electric road systems
  • include coaches, road sweepers, refuse collection vehicles, off highway vehicles or HGVs that are not involved in freight
  • include costs for purchasing land or for generating electricity
  • are creating a legal entity such as a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to manage project funds
  • are dependent on export performance
  • are dependent on domestic inputs usage

15 August 2022
Competition opens
18 August 2022
Online briefing event: Watch the video
12 October 2022 11:00am
Competition closes
7 November 2022
Invite to interview
21 November 2022
Interview panel week commencing
9 December 2022
Applicants notified

Before you start

You must read the guidance on applying for a competition on the Innovation Funding Service before you start.

What we ask you

The application is split into 3 sections:

  1. Project details.
  2. Application questions, including capital costs.
  3. Finances, excluding capital costs.


If your online application is assessed as eligible you may be invited to attend an interview, where you must give a presentation. Your interview will take place at a designated location. The date and time of your interview will be included in your invitation.

Before the interview and by the deadline stated in the invitation email, you:

  • must send a list of who will attend the interview
  • must send your interview presentation slides
  • can send a written response to the assessors’ feedback

List of attendees

Agree the list with your consortium. Up to 10 people from your project can attend, ideally one person from each organisation. They must all be available on all published interview dates. We are unable to reschedule slots once allocated.

Presentation slides

Your interview presentation must:

  • use Microsoft PowerPoint or equivalent software.
  • be no longer than 45 minutes
  • have no more than 45 slides
  • not include any video or embedded web links

You cannot change your presentation after you submit it or bring any additional materials to the interview.

Written response to assessor feedback

This is optional and is an opportunity to answer the assessors’ concerns.

It can:

  • be up to 4 A4 pages in a single PDF or Word document
  • include charts or diagrams

We may also ask you to respond to additional written questions raised by the interview panel.


After your presentation the panel will spend up to 90 minutes asking questions. You will be expected to answer based on the information you provided in your application form, presentation and the response to feedback.

The panel will then hold a closed discussion. You may be called back in for a further 30 minute question and answer session, if needed.

We reserve the right to add an additional level of assessment, if we feel that we need more information to make a decision. If a decision is made to carry out another level of assessment, we will contact you by email.

After your interview

The panellists will individually score your application and these will be averaged for your overall interview score. This score will supersede the one you received from your initial written assessment. We will notify you whether you have been successful or not by email and you will receive feedback on your interview within a week of notification.

1. Project details

This section provides background for the assessors and is not scored.

Application team

Decide which organisations will work with you on the project. Invite people from those organisations to help complete the application.

Team members must each complete an Equality Diversity and Inclusion survey. The lead applicant must complete their survey to submit the application.

Application details

The lead applicant must complete this section. Give your project’s title, start date and duration.

Subsidy basis

Will the project, including any related activities you want Innovate UK to fund, affect trade between Northern Ireland and the EU?

You and all your project partners must respond and mark this question as complete, before you can submit your application.

Research category

Select the type of research you will undertake.

Project summary

Describe your project briefly and be clear about what makes it innovative. We use this section to assign the right experts to assess your application.

Your answer can be up to 400 words long.

Public description

Describe your project in detail and in a way that you are happy to see published. Do not include any commercially sensitive information. If we award your project funding, we will publish this description. This could happen before you start your project.

Your answer can be up to 400 words long.


Describe how your project fits the scope of the competition. If your project is not in scope it will be immediately rejected and will not be sent for assessment.

We will tell you the reason why.

Your answer can be up to 400 words long.

2. Application questions

The assessors will score your answers for questions 4 to 13. You will receive feedback for each scored question. Find out more about how our assessors assess.

You must answer all questions. Do not include any website addresses (URLs) in your answers.

Question 1. Applicant location (not scored)

You must state the name and full registered address of your organisation, any partners and subcontractors working on the project. We are collecting this information to understand the geographical location of all applicants.

Your answer can be up to 600 words long.

Question 2. Expected grant claim for each financial year (not scored)

You must state your expected grant claim values against the following periods:

  • your project start date to 31 March 2023
  • 1 April 2023 to 31 March 2024
  • 1 April 2024 to 31 March 2025

We encourage you to align your funding spend against this profile where possible:

  • from your project start to 31 March 2023: 30%
  • 1 April 2023 to 31 March 2024: 30%
  • 1 April 2024 to 31 March 2025: 40%

Your answer can be up to 100 words long.

We are collecting this information to help financial forecasting at Innovate UK and the Department for Transport. If you are assessed as eligible for funding, we will take your answer into consideration during our competition portfolio review.

Question 3. Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (not scored)

How have you incorporated equality, diversity and inclusion into your project delivery and project outcomes?

Describe or explain the details relating to methods and approaches used:

  • during project delivery
  • for governance
  • for project team and advisory boards
  • for stakeholder and end-user engagement
  • for design thinking

If you are assessed as eligible for funding, your answer will be taken into consideration during the competition portfolio review. Your response will also be used to inform the development of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion activities for the competition cohort.

Your answer can be up to 400 words long.

Question 4. Need or challenge

What is the business need, technological challenge or market opportunity behind your innovation?


  • the main motivation for the project
  • the business need, technological challenge or market opportunity
  • whether you have identified any similar innovation and its current limitations, including those close to market or in development
  • any work you have already done to respond to this need, for example if the project focuses on developing an existing capability or building a new one
  • the wider economic, social, environmental, cultural or political challenges which are influential in creating the opportunity, such as incoming regulations, using our Horizons tool if appropriate
  • how you think the challenge will change throughout the life of the project
  • the view on the challenge from each type of organisation involved in the project

Your answer can be up to 600 words long.

This question is marked out of 10.

Question 5. Approach to challenge

What approach will you take and where will the focus of the innovation be?


  • how you will respond to the need, challenge or opportunity identified
  • how you will improve on the similar innovation that you have identified whether the innovation will focus on the application of existing technologies in new areas, the development of new technologies for existing areas or a totally disruptive approach
  • the freedom you have to operate
  • the vehicles and infrastructure you will use for your demonstration
  • the operators who have committed to support your demonstration
  • the range of duty cycles your project will demonstrate, and how this will stretch operational capability and test the wider infrastructure
  • the geographic spread of your demonstration
  • the edge cases and known complexities that your demonstration will explore
  • how you will demonstrate and understand the challenges that would be present in a future full scale deployment
  • how you will extrapolate your demonstration to ensure learning is as broad and comprehensive as possible
  • how you will meet all requirements in the competition scope and the challenges or opportunities that you have identified
  • how this project fits with your current products or services and where it uses new products or services which are yet to be announced
  • how it will make you more competitive
  • any weaknesses or opportunities you have identified in your approach
  • how you will deal with regulatory and planning challenges to deliver your proposal on time
  • how you will ensure that your demonstration can continue to operate commercially after initial funding has been claimed
  • the nature of the outputs you expect from the project (for example report, demonstrator, know-how, new process, product or service design) and how these will help you to target the need, challenge or opportunity identified and how this aligns with the competition scope
  • your commitment to collaborating with our contractors who will independently evaluate the zero emission road freight demonstrations

Tell us if your approach leaves any gaps in the broader challenge that should be explored elsewhere and how we can mitigate against this.

Your answer can be up to 1,000 words long.

You must submit one appendix to support your answer. It can include diagrams, charts and maps. It must be a PDF, up to 4 A4 pages long and no larger than 20MB in size. The font must be legible at 100% zoom. You do not need to include letters of support from operators.

This question is marked out of 30.

Question 6. Team and resources

Who is in the project team and what are their roles?


  • the roles, skills and experience of all members of the project team that are relevant to the approach you will be taking
  • the resources, equipment and facilities needed for the project and how you will access them
  • the operators who will use the vehicles, their commitment to the project and their level of engagement to contribute to the project’s learning
  • the reasoning you have used or will use to select vital external parties, including subcontractors, that will work on this project
  • the details of any vital external parties, including subcontractors, who you will need to work with to successfully carry out the project
  • your justification if you intend to use any overseas subcontractors
  • how you have confirmed that subcontractors are able to meet the required timeline
  • the current relationships between project partners and how these will change as a result of the project
  • how you plan to collaborate with project partners, any complexities you are aware of and how these are being addressed
  • how the makeup of your team will ensure that your project can adapt to challenges or supply chain constraints throughout the duration of your project
  • any roles you will need to recruit for

Your answer can be up to 600 words long.

You must submit one appendix to support your answer. This can include a short summary of the main people working on the project and evidence of the support of vehicle operators or equivalent. It must be a PDF, up to 8 A4 pages long and no larger than 20MB in size. The font must be legible at 100% zoom.

This question is marked out of 10.

Question 7. Market awareness

What does the market you are targeting look like?


  • the target markets for the project outcomes, any other potential markets (domestic, international or both)
  • the size of the target markets for the project outcomes, backed up by references where available
  • the structure and dynamics of the target markets, including customer segmentation, together with predicted growth rates within clear timeframes
  • the target markets’ main supply or value chains and business models, and any barriers to entry that exist
  • the current UK position in targeting these markets
  • any relevant factors which are specific to the UK
  • the size and main features of any other markets not already listed

If your project is highly innovative, where the market may be unexplored, explain:

  • what the market’s size might to be
  • how your project will try to explore the market’s potential

Your answer can be up to 400 words long.

This question is marked out of 10.

Question 8. Outcomes and route to market

How are you going to grow your business and increase your productivity into the long term as a result of the project?

Explain, with input and justification from all partners:

  • your current position in the markets and supply or value chains outlined, and whether you will be extending or establishing your market position
  • your target customers or end users, and the value to them, for example why they would use or buy your product or service
  • your route to market and how you are going to profit from the innovation, including increased revenues or cost reduction
  • how the innovation will affect your productivity and growth, in both the short and the long term
  • your strategy for targeting the other markets you have identified during or after the project
  • the role of SMEs in your route to market

If there is any research organisation activity in the project, explain:

  • your plans to spread the project’s research outputs over a reasonable timescale
  • how you expect to use the results generated from the project in further research activities

Your answer can be up to 400 words long.

This question is marked out of 10.

Question 9. Wider impacts

What impact might this project have outside the project team?

Describe and, where possible, measure the economic benefits from the project such as productivity increases and import substitution, to:

  • external parties
  • customers
  • others in the supply chain
  • broader industry
  • the UK economy

Describe and, where possible, measure:

  • any expected impact on government priorities
  • how you will coordinate with external stakeholders to achieve broader aims, including decarbonising road freight, safety and efficiency of freight operations
  • any coordination or links to other initiatives, including, if applicable, to the OFGEM Strategic Innovation Fund
  • any expected environmental impacts, either positive or negative
  • any expected regional impacts of the project

Describe any expected social impacts, either positive or negative on, for example:

  • quality of life
  • social inclusion or exclusion
  • jobs, such as safeguarding, creating, changing or displacing them
  • education
  • public empowerment
  • health and safety
  • regulations
  • diversity


  • your approach to disseminating learning across the sector independently and by supporting activities organised by the funders or their agents
  • how you will ensure that your project presents a coordinated message to industry
  • how you will ensure that the entire range of operators and suppliers involved in the sector are included in dissemination activities
  • how you will work with our agents to add value to the data collected and ensure that it presents an accurate and unbiased system wide understanding of zero emission road freight
  • how you will use this project to accelerate freight decarbonisation

Your answer can be up to 600 words long.

This question is marked out of 20.

Question 10. Project management

How will you manage the project effectively?


  • the main work packages of the project, indicating the lead partner assigned to each and the total cost of each one
  • your approach to project management, identifying any major tools and mechanisms you will use to get a successful and innovative project outcome
  • how you will manage collaboration across your consortium
  • the governance structure and how you will ensure the project remains on track to deliver its objectives in the required timeframe
  • the management reporting lines
  • your project plan in enough detail to identify any links or dependencies between work packages or milestones

You must submit a project plan or Gantt chart as an appendix to support your answer. It must be a PDF, can be up to 2 A4 pages long and no larger than 10MB in size. The font must be legible at 100% zoom.

Your answer can be up to 400 words long.

This question is marked out of 10.

Question 11. Risks

What are the main risks for this project? How will the project mitigate these risks?


  • the main risks and uncertainties of the project, rated high, medium, low or otherwise, including the technical, commercial, managerial, safety, and environmental risks
  • how you will mitigate these risks effectively, including examples any flexibility or redundancy in your approach
  • how you will continue to appraise risks and develop effective mitigations on an ongoing basis
  • how your approach to risk will ensure you can maintain consistent delivery of your project
  • any project inputs that are critical to completion, such as resources, expertise, and data sets
  • any output likely to be subject to regulatory requirements, certification, ethical issues and so on, and how you will manage this

You must submit a risk register as an appendix to support your answer. It must be a PDF, up to 2 A4 pages long and no larger than 10MB in size. The font must be legible at 100% zoom.

Your answer can be up to 600 words long.

This question is marked out of 10.

Question 12. Added value

How will this public funding help you to accelerate or enhance your approach to developing your project towards commercialisation? What impact would this award have on the organisations involved?


  • what advantages would public funding offer your project, for example, appeal to investors, more partners, reduced risk or a faster route to market (this list is not exhaustive)
  • the likely impact of the project outcomes on the organisations involved
  • how those who are not involved in your project will benefit from it, including through access to infrastructure or project learning
  • how your project will directly help the entire sector transition to net zero
  • what other routes of investment have you already approached
  • what your project would look like without public funding
  • how this project would change the R&D activities of all the organisations involved

Your answer can be up to 400 words long.

This question is marked out of 10.

Question 13. Costs and value for money

How much will the project cost and how does it represent value for money for the team and the taxpayer? What are your capital costs? Why do you require the level of grant funding that you have requested?

In terms of the project goals, explain:

  • the total eligible project costs
  • the grant you are requesting, including research and development costs and capital costs
  • the amount of grant funding required for capital purchases related to trucks
  • if some vehicles require additional funding to be part of your project due to their cost or usage, why is this needed
  • the amount of grant funding required for capital purchases related to infrastructure
  • if some infrastructure requires additional funding to be part of your project due to the cost or usage, why is this needed
  • how many trucks or how much infrastructure the project could have funded without this grant funding
  • how many trucks or how much infrastructure the project could have funded if grant funding for capital costs was limited to 50%
  • if the project requires funding for capital costs at rates above 50%, why this is needed
  • how you have confirmed that the funding will not reduce the total cost of freight operations below the cost of diesel vehicle operations
  • how each partner will finance their contributions to the project
  • how this project represents value for money for you and the taxpayer
  • how it compares to what you would spend your money on otherwise
  • the balance of costs and grant across the project partners
  • any subcontractor costs and why they are critical to the project
  • how your usage of subcontractors represents value for money for the project even where the subcontractors are not the lowest cost

Your answer can be up to 800 words long.

You can submit one appendix to support your answer. It can include diagrams and charts. It must be a PDF, up to 2 A4 pages long and no larger than 10MB in size. The font must be legible at 100% zoom.

This question is marked out of 20.

All research and development costs (labour, overhead costs, materials, subcontracting, travel and subsistence, and other costs), excluding capital costs or capital usage, must be completed and submitted in the finance section of your application.

Project partners who have capital costs, including ‘capital usage’, must each download and complete the zero emission road freight demonstrations capital costs template. Capital costs associated with trucks must be completed separately to capital costs associated with recharging infrastructure. This means you may need to create two versions of the capital costs template.

You must read the ‘Guidance’ tab and complete your costs against the categories provided and complete the ‘project cost summary’ tab with the grant you are requesting.

All partners who have capital costs must submit their spreadsheet or spreadsheets by email to by 11am on the competition close date.

The spreadsheet will provide us with the details of each partner’s proposed capital costs.

You will need to share a summary of your proposed capital costs with partners to enable the written response to this question to be prepared.

3. Finances

Each organisation in your project must complete their own project costs, organisation details and funding details in the application.

Where your application includes ‘capital costs’ do not include these costs in the finance section. 'Capital costs' must be captured separately in a dedicated spreadsheet as part of your application. This is required to manage the different grant funding percentage rates for your capital costs and your R&D project costs.

Academic institutions must complete and upload a Je-S form.

For full details on what costs you can claim see our project costs guidance.

Background and further information

The funding for this competition is from the Department for Transport (DfT) and Innovate UK as part of commitments defined in the November 2020 ‘Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution’ and in the October 2021 ‘Net Zero Strategy: Build Back Greener’.

The focus is on the largest heavy goods vehicles (HGVs).

This competition complements the technology and modal pathways described in Innovate UK’s Transport Vision 2050. It reinforces Innovate UK’s investment decisions in order to realise the future of transport in the UK and globally.

Successful projects and operators demonstrating vehicles will be required to engage with contractors who are independently evaluating the zero emission road freight demonstrations.

This is expected to include:

  • vehicle data collection: supporting contractors to collect raw data from all zero emission HGVs directly funded, using Controller Area Network (CAN) data loggers and suitable decoding, or other agreed systems
  • attaining a combustion engine benchmark: freight operators supporting contractors to collect data on your combustion engine vehicles performing equivalent duty cycles, before (preferred) or during the demonstration of zero emission HGVs
  • infrastructure data collection: support contractors in collecting raw data associated with infrastructure usage, efficiency, uptime, maintenance and business model performance
  • infrastructure deployment: detailing the cost of equipment, cost of installation, cost of grid connections, duration of deployment and the cost and duration of work related to your distribution network operator (DNO)
  • standard testing of vehicles at specialised facilities for benchmarking and validation purposes
  • financial: vehicle purchase cost and all operational costs to determine the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)
  • access to vehicle operators and drivers to determine factors such as user acceptance and differences in operating zero emission HGVs compared to the combustion engine benchmark, for example, reduced load carrying capacity
  • evaluation and dissemination activities

Innovate UK and DfT are aware that certain raw data will be confidential and commercially sensitive and our contractor will work collaboratively with you to define an acceptable approach. To meet programme objectives, including dissemination of learning across the sector, your project must supply agreed data, but it will be aggregated or anonymised where it is marked as confidential. Data will be stored confidentially.

Your project is not required to fund this evaluation activity, but the evaluation activity will require access to vehicles, drivers, suppliers, and stakeholders on an ongoing basis throughout the project. In some limited cases and by agreement, the evaluation contractors may require access to vehicles when they would typically be undergoing operational duties.

Funding is contingent on your project formally accepting a mutually agreed data collection and demonstration evaluation contract and complying with it throughout the project.

You may also be required to engage with contractors from Innovate UK and DfT who are exploring complementary factors associated with the demonstration or future deployment of zero emission HGVs.

Data sharing

This competition is jointly operated by Innovate UK and the Department for Transport (DfT) (each an “agency”).

Your submitted application and any other information you provide at the application stage can be submitted to each agency on an individual basis for its storage, processing and use. Any relevant information produced during the application process concerning your application can be shared by one agency with the other, for its individual storage, processing and use.

This means that any information given to or generated by Innovate UK in respect of your application may be passed on to DfT and vice versa.

Innovate UK and DfT are directly accountable to you for their holding and processing of your information, including any personal data and confidential information. Data is held in accordance with their own policies. Accordingly, Innovate UK and DfT will be data controllers for personal data submitted during the application.

Innovate UK complies with the requirements of GDPR, and is committed to upholding the data protection principles, and protecting your information The Information Commissioner’s Office also has a useful guide for organisations, which outlines the data protection principles.

Find a project partner

If you want help to find a project partner, contact Innovate UK KTN.

Your details may be shared with Innovate UK KTN once you commence an application on this strand and you may be proactively contacted to assist with arranging project partners.

Support for SMEs from Innovate UK EDGE

If you receive an award, you will be contacted about working with an innovation and growth specialist at Innovate UK EDGE. This service forms part of our funded offer to you.

These specialists focus on growing innovative businesses and ensuring that projects contribute to their growth. Working one-to-one, they can help you to identify your best strategy and harness world-class resources to grow and achieve scale.

We encourage you to engage with Innovate UK EDGE, delivered by a knowledgeable and objective specialist near you.

Contact us

If you need more information about how to apply or you want to submit your application in Welsh, email or call 0300 321 4357. Our phone lines are open from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays).

Innovate UK is committed to making support for applicants accessible to everyone.

We can provide help for applicants who face barriers when making an application. This might be as a result of a disability, neurodiversity or anything else that makes it difficult to use our services. We can also give help and make other reasonable adjustments for you if your application is successful.
If you think you need more support, it is important that you contact our Customer Support Service as early as possible during your application process. You should aim to contact us no later than 10 working days before the competition closing date.

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