Businesses are being invited to apply for £40 million worth in funding for projects that create wireless charging for commercial vehicles and public areas where electric cars can be charged.
This call for applications has come from the Office for Low Emission Vehicles, Innovate UK, and UK Research and Innovation; the investment is available across two competitions.
These include those electric vehicle owners who don’t have suitable off-street parking to charge their vehicles in public spaces; and to investigate the wireless charging options for those owners of service vehicles and delivery vans.
The call for this funding comes at a time when the drive to zero emission has never been higher; the government has just launched its Road to Zero Strategy that hopes to drive new vehicle sales up to seven in every 10 sold by 2030.
By 2050, the UK government wants almost all cars and vans to be zero emission too.
This though, presents significant challenges around ensuring there is sufficient charging infrastructure – as pointed out by the Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders (SMMT) who have warned that refuelling and charging infrastructure needs to be put in place.
The funding available in these two competitions will hopefully help to make inroads on this front; for wireless electric charging, the focus is on providing new technologies to allow commercial vehicles to top up batteries during the day without having to stop to plug in.
Businesses are called to put projects together looking at commercially-feasible ideas and business models that will result in charged vehicles with the minimum of disruption to business.
Innovate UK want to see how wireless charging can be used by commercial vehicles at major depots, hubs or delivery bays.
Applications are open until the end of August, with businesses possibly attracting up to 70% of their project costs.
For the competition revolving around electric vehicle charging for public spaces, businesses are advised to look at creative new designs and technologies that could provide low cost charging facilities for those without off-street parking.
These ideas could include on-street infrastructure or the creation of community charging hubs.