Zero emission road freight strand 1: electric road systems

Fund Name: Zero emission road freight strand 1: electric road systems
Project Length: End by 31 March 2022
Project Value: £500k-£2m
Deadline: 05/05/2021


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 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.

Fund details

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

Vehicle-specific requirements

Your project must:

  • 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

Scale of demonstration

Your project must:

  • propose a quantity of trucks which match the scale and ambition of each scenario whilst maximising learning and providing value
  • conduct pre-deployment work for a demonstration which is expected to run for 5 years
  • consider the electric road system infrastructure, the associated trucks and a real-world operational demonstration
  • consider a minimum of 30 kilometres of electric road system as part of your minimum viable product – the 30 kilometres distance can be achieved in a single direction or out and back on the same road
    use electric road systems consisting of overhead systems, or in-road rails, or inductive coils
  • demonstration location and the associated technical and operational factors
  • required electric grid connections, including cost and the economic viability of the system

You can consider how rapid charging could be used to extend the operational window of the demonstration vehicles.

Broader context

You must:

  • include use cases, such as regional or national distribution and those who will use the demonstration once operational
  • consider alignment with other schemes which target net zero such as Project Rapid and the All Electric Bus Town programmes
  • include an end to end operational safety and regulatory framework
  • consider public acceptance, including road users and those living near the proposed demonstration
  • include training and familiarisation with the electric road system for example emergency services and highway authorities
  • include a comprehensive risk analysis with considered and realistic mitigations
  • describe how you plan to monitor and evaluate your proposed demonstration
  • describe and provide costs for any decommissioning that is needed at the end of the demonstration (infrastructure which can viably be repurposed does not need to be decommissioned)
    maximise UK value in terms of supply chain and deployment
  • describe the additional activities needed by the project after the study is completed but before breaking ground
  • justify your approach and decisions and clearly communicate any assumptions you make

Your project must:

  • have total eligible costs between £500,000 and £2 million
  • start by 1 July 2021
  • end by 31 March 2022

To lead a project your organisation must:

  • be a UK registered business of any size
  • collaborate with other UK registered businesses, RTOs, research organisations, public sector organisations or charities
  • carry out its project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK
Get in touch

If you think that you might be eligible for this fund, please Get in Touch by filling out the contact form below.

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