2022 Zero Emission Powered Light Vehicles (PLV) Feasibility Studies Competition

Key Features

The competition is open to UK registered micro and SME companies active in the niche vehicle technology sector.

Programme:     Niche Vehicle

Award:     Share of up to £35,000

Opens: 7th Sep 2022

Closes: 17th Oct 2022

! This scheme is now closed


Sponsored by the Department for Transport (DfT) and supported by the Motorcycle Industry Association (MCIA), Zemo Partnership (Zemo) and Innovate UK, the Niche Vehicle Zero Emission PLV Feasibility Studies Competition provides grant funding of up £35,000 to undertake 3-month duration desktop research and/or preliminary investigation activities aimed at supporting the accelerated development of innovative vehicle technologies applicable to road going Zero Emission Powered Light Vehicles (PLV). More commonly referred to as ‘Category L’ vehicles – this encompasses mopeds, motorbikes, trikes and quadricycle vehicle types.


Applications into this competition must be able to articulate how they will support the high-level objectives of accelerated development of new on-road zero emission niche PLV vehicles and/or solutions to deliver increased zero emission PLV vehicle range. For clarity, Niche Vehicle are not looking to fund projects primarily focussed on off-board vehicle charging systems or solutions in this competition.

Areas for investigation could include the following on-board vehicle technology themes:

  • Electric machines and power electronics
  • On board energy storage and energy management systems
  • Fuel cells
  • Lightweight vehicle body, chassis and powertrain structures*
  • Aerodynamics for improved energy efficiency*

* Must be able to demonstrate significant vehicle-level benefits to range extension, reduced energy consumption and/or negating the weight impact of adopting zero emissions propulsion systems

For zero emission vehicles included in this competition, please see here.


Please make sure that your project meets the following eligibility criteria:

  • Projects need to have a focus on the UK zero emission PLV niche vehicle sector
  • The applicant must be a UK SME or micro business (limited company)
  • The applicant must submit the bid and manage the project
  • Projects must be business-led, and within the technology scope and eligibility criteria for the competition
  • All work within the project must be undertaken in the UK
  • A maximum of 2 applications per company / organisation is permissible – this includes businesses where at least one shareholder holds a 25% or greater interest in both companies
  • Projects must be undertaken solely by the applicant (and any named subcontractors)
  • Projects must be deliverable within a 3-month period & completed by 31st March 2023

Successful applicants must also be able to pass a financial due diligence check before funding can be awarded.

Funding Costs

Maximum total project costs – £50,000

Maximum total project grant – £35,000

Grant intervention rate – 70%

Total number of partners (including lead) – single applicants only

Maximum level of subcontracting cost – 40%

Maximum level of capital cost – 10%


The following technologies are specifically out of scope and ineligible for funding in this competition stream:

  • Hybrids & all activities related to any conventional engine R&D work – including range extenders or conversions of internal combustion engines to run on hydrogen, other gaseous, alternative or synthetic ‘e’ fuels
  • Fuels & lubricants
  • Development of simulation/testing tools and techniques – including apps
  • Vehicle charging solutions – including off board chargers, external energy storage, apps, payment solutions and vehicle to grid technologies

Funding is restricted to on-board vehicle technologies applicable to powered, wheeled road-going zero emission UK PLV niche vehicles.

The following vehicle types are out of scope for this competition:

  • All Category L vehicles powered by any form of internal combustion engine, including hybrids or conversions of ICE to run on hydrogen, gaseous, alternative or ‘zero carbon’ / synthetic ‘e’ fuels
  • All forms of pedal electrically assisted micro mobility vehicles – e-cargo, e-bikes etc – including L1e-A category vehicles
  • E-scooters
  • Category M, N, T, R and S vehicles
  • Non-road mobile machinery vehicles
  • Special purpose vehicles – including ambulances, fire/rescue, municipal – unless they are a specific Category L vehicle
  • Driverless vehicles, PODs, marine, rail, aerospace and drones
  • Dedicated motorsport and race vehicles
  • Any other vehicles powered by an internal combustion engine (ICE)

Interested in applying for this competition?

Book an appointment to speak to one of our advisors to discuss your eligibility to apply for this Grant Funding opportunity.