Funding competition Innovation in vehicle-to-grid (V2G) systems: real-world demonstrators

UK businesses can apply for a share of £20 million across 3 competitions to research technologies and business models that develop future vehicle-to-grid (V2G) products and services.

This competition is now closed.

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Competition sections


Working with The Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) and Innovate UK, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) are providing funding of £20 million for innovative projects that develop future V2G products, services and knowledge. This amount will be shared between 3 competitions.

V2G is a system where plug-in electric vehicles, such as battery electric cars (BEV) and plug-in hybrids (PHEV), return electricity to the power grid (with consent from their users). This is usually in return for a financial reward or benefit.

This competition is for V2G demonstrator trials in real-world environments at scale.

Projects in this competition should last up to 3 years. They should range from total project costs of £1.5 million to £7 million.

Projects must be collaborative and business-led. For larger projects, we expect to see participants from across the value chain, such as energy companies, vehicle manufacturers, hardware manufacturers, service providers, local authorities and other infrastructure providers.

There are 2 other V2G competitions being run in conjunction with this one.

  1. Collaborative feasibility studies. We are seeking proposals that investigate future business models, consumer engagement approaches, on- and off-vehicle technologies and standards. Projects should last up to 12 months. They should range from total project costs of £125,000 to £225,000.
  2. Collaborative research and development (R&D). We are seeking proposals for innovative V2G technologies (on- and off-vehicle technologies, and V2G hardware and software). Projects should last between 18 months and 3 years. They should range from total project costs of £375,000 to £1.5 million.

Funding type


Project size

We expect demonstrator projects to range in size from total costs of £1.5 million to £7 million.

Find out if you are eligible to apply

To lead a project you must:

  • be a UK-based business
  • be a business of any size
  • carry out your project in the UK, unless a strong case is made to do otherwise. Costs of any overseas work or for any overseas parties are not funded through this competition
  • work in collaboration with others (businesses, research base and/or third sector)

Research organisations can participate as collaborators. In any project, a maximum of 30% of total eligible project costs can be spent by the research organisations involved. If your consortium contains more than one research organisation, this maximum will be shared between them.

Non grant partners

Projects may include non-grant-receiving partners (for example, non-UK businesses). Their costs will count towards the total project costs but they will not count as collaborators. There must be 2 grant-claiming partners.

Projects that we won't fund

We will not fund business as usual projects or those that focus purely on the following, unless there is a strong case that such work would directly support the competition objectives. These are:

  • wireless charging technologies
  • robotic connector systems
  • second or fixed-life battery (although acceptable as a complement to V2G projects)
  • smart or time-shifted charging as a sole or primary objective
  • storage technology development or testing
  • hydrogen vehicle solutions
  • solutions that have consequences of increasing carbon or other emissions

Funding and project details

£20 million in total is being invested to fund innovation projects in V2G across 3 competitions.

We envisage the funding split as:

The funders reserve the right to move funds. This depends on the quality of bids received and our desire to fund a balance of projects across the 3 competitions.

All projects must involve at least 2 partners and a business must lead all projects.

Project types

This competition is for real-world demonstrators.

For technical feasibility studies and industrial research, you could get:

  • up to 70% of your eligible project costs if you are a small business
  • up to 60% if you are a medium-sized business
  • up to 50% if you are a large business

For experimental development projects that are nearer to market, you could get:

  • up to 45% of your eligible project costs if you are a small business
  • up to 35% if you are a medium-sized business
  • up to 25% if you are a large business

Research and technology organisations can receive 100% of their eligible project costs. Universities can receive 80% of full economic cost. In any project, a maximum of 30% of total eligible project costs can be spent by the research organisations involved.

Find out if your business fits the EU definition of an SME.

We expect projects to last up to 3 years. Projects can undertake research and development (R&D) of vehicle and off-vehicle hardware before trials start. We expect projects to range in size from total project costs of £1.5 million to £7 million.

We may consider costs outside the range, but you must consult with Innovate UK at least 10 days before the application deadline if you wish to do this.

Research organisations

Research organisations may participate in applications as collaborators.

There are specific rules for research partners which limit the amount of involvement a research organisation may have in your project.

You will not be able to submit your application if your research participation is over the stated percentage for the competition.

Competition scope

The aim of the demonstrator competition is to support demonstration projects that investigate novel technologies, consumer engagement approaches and business models for future implementation of V2G services.

As the fleet of electric and plug-in hybrid, ultra low-emission vehicles (ULEVs) grows, this important and rapidly developing area of technology has the potential to benefit vehicle users and support a more efficient electricity system.

The objectives are to achieve one or more of the following:

  • build confidence in and demonstrate the value of V2G technology to vehicle manufacturers, ULEV owners and users. The aim is to encourage significant take-up of ULEVs in the coming 5 to 10 years
  • learn how to engage ULEV owners and users and understand their attitude to different V2G technologies, products and services
  • demonstrate the technical and commercial potential for ULEVs to support the electricity system, either directly to the power grid or other local systems (for example, vehicle-to-building)

We are seeking innovative solutions in the following V2G areas:

  • business models, technology and service standards
  • understanding user acceptance and consumer engagement
  • on and off-vehicle hardware, including bi-directional chargers, battery hardware and software, and cyber security
  • trials of different products and services in different scenarios

Project teams should include partners from across the V2G value chain. Projects should bring together participants from the traditional automotive and energy communities with other infrastructure providers, particularly for demonstrator projects.

We reserve the right to use a portfolio approach to ensure that we achieve a balance of projects across the funded competitions.

We expect all funded projects to share best practice and findings, including through annual events. BEIS evaluation processes should be used throughout and after the project. Demonstrator projects will also be required to provide further information about vehicle use patterns and performance.

Specific competition themes

V2G demonstrator trials

Projects should use real-world trials with different reward mechanisms. This will help build stakeholder confidence and demonstrate the value of V2G systems for vehicle owners or users, vehicle manufacturers and energy businesses.

Projects should be based around a physical demonstration of solutions and real-world benefits. There should be clearly tested and scalable business models and a route to market. Where possible, projects should provide evidence of user behavioural insights including receptiveness to vehicle-to grid-systems at different stages of the project.

We are seeking projects in each of the following scenarios:

  • personal use, such as private ULEV drivers or private communal use such as car-sharing arrangements
  • transport hub or commercial ULEV fleets, including public road transport and public or private car parks
  • commercial and public service vehicles

Demonstrator projects must have sufficient trial times and be of a statistically significant scale to achieve the stated project goals. We expect many months of real-world testing to account for cross-season variations and sufficient evidence to demonstrate project goals. We expect many trials to last at least 12 months.

Projects can include feasibility work and technology development before vehicle trials where appropriate.

Trials that use a range of different vehicle makes and models are encouraged.

Demonstrator projects must follow these guidelines:

  • personal use demonstrators must include a pool of vehicle owners
  • commercial trials must include a commercial vehicle operator for freight carrying, logistics or public service vehicles
  • trials must use vehicles supplied by original equipment manufacturers or professionally converted vehicles
  • project teams must monitor trial vehicles using telematics or another effective system
  • the number of proposed trial vehicles and their anticipated availability must be declared in the application and reported on throughout the project
  • trial vehicles must be safe and legally compliant at all times (with vehicle special orders if required)

The cost associated with installing charging infrastructure for the trials is in scope, but purchase or lease of vehicles is not. Proposals should include what will happen to infrastructure and vehicles after the trial.

Applicants must also:

  • state in commercial trials the primary use of the fleet, such as urban, inter-urban or long haul
  • collect data and the technology service and spares to keep vehicles fully operational during the trials

Data collection

The collection and pooling of data from the demonstrator trials is vital to gaining an understanding of the benefits of V2G and user acceptance.

We will appoint an independent third party organisation to define a common format for data deemed of value. Data will be anonymised for analysis and publication at the end of the project.

Funding is conditional on trial projects collecting and reporting vehicle data monthly throughout the trial for at least 85% of operation.

Please see attached table for more details.

10 July 2017
Competition opens
9 August 2017
Briefing event - watch the recording.
17 August 2017
Brokerage event: Energy Systems Catapult, Birmingham.
18 October 2017 12:00pm
Competition closes
10 November 2017
Invite to interview.
13 November 2017
Feedback to interview applicants.
27 November 2017
Feedback response, presentation and attendee names deadline.
4 December 2017
Interview period starts.
8 December 2017
Interview period ends.
22 January 2018 2:50pm
Applicants notified

Before you start

To start an application you must create an account as the lead applicant, or sign in as a representative of your organisation. Once you have an account you can track the progress of your application.

As a lead applicant:

  • you are responsible for collecting the information for your funding application
  • you can invite other organisations who will participate in the project as collaborators if your application is successful
  • you can invite colleagues to contribute to the application
  • your organisation will lead the project if your application is successful

Partner organisations can be other businesses, research organisations, public sector organisations or charities.

Please read the general guidance for applicants it will help your chances of submitting a quality application.

What we ask you

The application is split into 3 sections:

1. Project details

2. Application questions

3. Finances

1. Project details

In this section you will provide the details of your project. This section is not scored, but our assessors will use it to decide whether the project fits with the scope of the competition. If it doesn’t fit the scope then it will be immediately rejected. Within project details you will need to complete:

Application details

The title of your project, the start date and project length. This section will also list you as the lead organisation and any partner organisations you have named as collaborators. The lead applicant must complete this section.

Project summary

Describe your project and what is innovative about it. We use this section to assign experts to assess your application so we need a summary of the innovation in your project.

Public description

Describe your project in a way that you are happy to see published. Please do not include any commercially sensitive information. If your project is successful and awarded funding, Innovate UK will publish this description.

Project scope

Describe how your project fits the scope of the competition. If your project is not in scope it will not be eligible for funding. Innovate UK will provide feedback if we decide that your project is not in scope.

2. Application questions

In this section, answers to these questions are scored by the assessors. Following assessment, you will receive feedback from the assessors for each question.

Question 1: Need or challenge

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

  • describe the main motivation for the project; the business need, the citizen-centric challenge (for urban living proposals), technological challenge or market opportunity
  • describe the nearest current state-of-the-art (including those near-market or in development) and its limitations
  • describe any work you have already done to respond to this need. For example is the project focused on developing an existing capability or building a new one?
  • identify the wider economic, social, environmental, cultural and/or political challenges which are influential in creating the opportunity, for example, incoming regulations. Our Horizons tool can help here.

Question 2: Approach and innovation

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

  • explain how you propose to respond to the need, challenge or opportunity identified
  • explain how it will improve on the nearest current state-of-the-art identified
  • indicate where the focus of the innovation will be in the project (application of existing technologies in new areas, development of new technologies for existing areas or a totally disruptive approach) and the freedom you have to operate
  • explain how this project fits with your current product/service lines/offerings
  • explain how it will make you more competitive
  • describe the nature of the outputs you expect from the project, for example, report, demonstrator, know-how, new process, product or service design. How will these will take you closer to targeting the need, challenge or opportunity identified?

You may submit a single appendix as a PDF no more than 1MB in size to support your answer.

Question 3: Team and resources

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

  • describe the roles, skills and relevant experience of all members of the project team in relation to the approach you will be taking
  • describe the resources, equipment and facilities required for the project and how you will access them
  • provide details of any vital external parties, including sub-contractors, who you will need to work with to successfully carry out the project
  • (if collaborative) describe the current relationships between the project partners and how these will change as a result of the project
  • highlight any gaps in the team that will need to be filled

You may submit a single appendix as a PDF no more than 1MB in size to support your answer.

Question 4: Market awareness

What does the market you are targeting look like?

Specify the markets (domestic and/or international) you will be targeting in the project and any other potential markets.

For the target markets, describe:

  • the size of the target markets for the project outcomes, backed up by appropriate references where available
  • the structure and dynamics of the market such as customer segmentation, together with predicted growth rates within clear timeframes
  • the main supply/value chains and business models in operation and any barriers to entry
  • the current UK position in targeting this market

For highly innovative projects, where the market may be unexplored, explain:

  • what the route to market could or might be
  • what its size might be
  • how the project will seek to explore the market potential

For other markets, briefly describe the size and main features.

Question 5: Outcomes and route to market

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

  • describe your current position in the markets and supply/value chains outlined for example, if you will be extending or establishing your market position
  • describe your target customers and/or end-users, and the value proposition to them (why would they use/buy it?)
  • describe your route to market
  • tell us how you are going to profit from the innovation (increased revenues or cost reduction)
  • explain how the innovation will impact your productivity and growth in the short and long-term
  • describe how you will protect and exploit the outputs of the project for example, through know-how, patenting, designs, changes to business model
  • outline your strategy for targeting the other markets identified during or after the project
  • for any research organisation activity in the project, outline your plans to disseminate project research outputs over a reasonable timescale
  • if you expect to use the results generated from the project in further research activities, describe how you will do this

Question 6: Wider impacts

What impact might this project have outside the project team?

Identify, and where possible measure, the economic benefits from the project to those outside the project (customers, others in the supply chain, broader industry and the UK economy) such as productivity increases and import substitution.

Identify, and where possible measure, any expected social impacts, either positive or negative, for example:

  • quality of life
  • social inclusion/exclusion
  • jobs (safeguarded, created, changed, displaced)
  • education
  • public empowerment
  • health and safety
  • regulations
  • diversity
  • any expected impact on government priorities

Identify, and where possible measure, any expected environmental impacts, either positive or negative.

Identify any expected regional impacts of the project.

Question 7: Project management

How will you manage the project effectively?

  • outline the main work packages of the project, indicating the relevant research category and lead partner assigned to each, and the total cost of each one
  • describe your approach to project management, identifying any major tools and mechanisms that will be used to ensure a successful project outcome. Highlight your approach to managing the most innovative aspects of the project
  • outline the management reporting lines
  • outline your project plan in sufficient detail to identify any links or dependencies between work packages or milestones

You may upload a project plan or Gantt chart as an appendix in PDF format no more than 1MB in size.

Question 8: Risks

What are the main risks for this project?

  • identify the main risks and uncertainties of the project, including the technical, commercial, managerial and environmental risks. Highlight the most significant ones, providing a risk register if appropriate
  • explain how these risks will be mitigated
  • list any project inputs on the critical route to completion such as resources, expertise or data sets
  • is the output likely to be subject to regulatory requirements, certification, ethical or other similar issues? If so how will you manage this?

You may upload a risk register as an appendix in PDF format no more than 1MB in size.

Question 9: Additionality

Describe the impact that an injection of public funding would have on this project.

  • tell us if this project could go ahead in any form without public funding and if so, the difference the public funding would make such as faster to market, more partners, reduced risk
  • describe the likely impact of the project on the business of the partners involved
  • tell us why you are not able to wholly fund the project from your own resources or other forms of private-sector funding (what would happen if the application is unsuccessful)
  • explain how this project would change the nature of research and development activity the partners would undertake, and related spend

Question 10: 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?

  • justify the total project cost and the grant being requested in terms of the project goals
  • explain how the partners will finance their contributions to the project
  • explain how this project represents value for money for you and the taxpayer. How does it compare to what you would spend your money on otherwise?
  • justify the balance of costs and grant across the project partners
  • justify any sub-contractor costs and why they are critical to the project


The finances section asks each organisation to complete project costs, organisational details and funding details for each organisation in your project. For full details on what costs you can claim please see our project costs guidance.

Each organisation participating in your project must enter their own project costs. Detailed costs are confidential to each organisation. All participants will be able to see a summary of all partners’ costs. The project growth table is optional. If you do not wish to supply this information please just enter zero in the columns.


Successful applications at the written stage will be invited to attend an interview.

Presentations should be a maximum of 20 minutes in length, with no more than 20 free-format slides (using Microsoft PowerPoint, 4:3 aspect ratio). This will be followed by 30 minutes of questions and answers. Please do not include any video or embedded web links.

Ahead of the interview your presentation slide pack needs to be formally submitted to Innovate UK. This should be on the date stated in the notification email. No changes may be made to the presentation after this date.

A maximum of 9 attendees from your project may attend the interview panel. We ask that these names are submitted to Innovate UK before the panel date. The consortium should select the most appropriate people to attend. It is recommended where possible that each consortium member organisation is represented. You will be expected to answer questions based on your application form and the assessor feedback from the written stage.

Please make sure that your selected representatives for the interview presentation are available on all published dates as we are unable to reschedule slots once allocated.

There will be an opportunity to provide a written supplementary response to the assessor feedback. You may submit up to 10 A4 pages of response in a single PDF or Word document which may include charts or diagrams. This is intended to answer any issues raised from the written assessor feedback.

Background and further information

The government wants to increase the take-up of ULEVs. It is committed to making nearly all cars and vans zero-emission by 2050. The government also wants to make sure that the energy system works for people and businesses.

A smarter and more flexible system offers significant benefits for consumers and the economy. This can help to make sure the UK has a secure, affordable and clean energy system now and in the future. It can also enable growth in all parts of the country. The government’s policy is designed to ensure that electric vehicles bring environmental benefits and help support the transition to a smarter energy system.

V2G has enormous potential to provide benefits to electric vehicle users and the UK’s energy system. It could help encourage electric vehicle take-up by adding another benefit to owning an electric vehicle.

The 3 competitions are designed to increase existing work already underway in the V2G and ULEV smart-charging field to create a critical mass of projects across the UK.

In February 2017 Innovate UK, OLEV and BEIS facilitated 3 scoping workshops around the UK in collaboration with the Knowledge Transfer Partnership. The 3 competitions have been informed by feedback from the workshops’ 250 industry and academic attendees.

BEIS has responsibilities for business, industrial strategy, science, innovation, energy and climate change. Its roles include ensuring that the country has secure reliable, smart, affordable and clean energy supplies.

OLEV is providing over £900 million to position the UK at the global forefront of ULEV development, manufacture and use. This will contribute to economic growth and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution on our roads.

If you want help to find a project partner, contact the Knowledge Transfer Network.

If you need more information, contact the competition helpline on 0300 321 4357 or email us at

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