IDP 15: the road to zero emission vehicles, large R&D

Key Features

UK businesses can apply for up to £4 million to research and develop technologies that accelerate the transition to zero emission vehicles.

Programme:     Innovate UK

Award:     Share of up to £4 million

Opens: 17th Sep 2018

Closes: 6th Dec 2018

! This scheme is now closed


The Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) will work with Innovate UK, as part of UK Research and Innovation, to invest up to £4 million to support one high value, exceptional large research and development (R&D) project.


Innovate UK are looking to fund a project that addresses one or more of the following technical areas:

  • the significant and highly disruptive electrification of conventional powertrains in vehicles in the area of power electronics, machines and/or drives
  • the transition of the UK’s current internal combustion engine (ICE) manufacturing capability into e-powertrain production in the future
  • e-powertrains solutions where the project does not include grant funded activities related to any conventional engine R&D work
  • minor costs related to integration of a zero emission technology with a conventional engine for demonstration purposes

Hybridisation technologies must focus solely on increasing the capability of the electrified or non-internal combustion engine element of the powertrain.

Projects must:

  • develop on-vehicle technology, speeding up its introduction to the market
  • focus on highly integrated vehicle systems and cost reduction
  • justify how the technology achieves overall vehicle efficiency as individual part or component improvement is not in scope, unless there is also consideration of overall system impact
  • validate the technology in a relevant environment, such as a mule or adapted current production vehicle
  • define appropriate representative real-world operating conditions, and a suitable comparator technology or vehicle against which the project will measure the carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) baseline and improvements
  • provide evidence that the durability, integrity and safety of any technology proposed is in line with industry expectations
  • show that you can realistically produce the technology at a price the market is willing to pay when commercialising
  • show how the future supply chain will be developed, such as including appropriate Tier 1 and/or Tier 2 suppliers in your consortium
  • show a clear route to market including appropriate business models to exploit the technology commercially
  • be mindful of the wider environmental impact of the technology including resource efficiency and end of life options such as recycling, remanufacturing and/or reuse.


To be eligible for funding you must:

  • be a UK based business, academic organisation, charity, public sector organisation or research and technology organisation (RTO)
  • carry out your project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK
  • work in collaboration with other businesses, research organisations or third-sector organisations

To lead a project you must be a UK based business, of any size.

Funding Costs

Your total project costs can be any amount with a total grant cost up to £4 million. Your project must start by June 2019 and end by June 2022 and last between 12 months and 3 years.

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

  • up to 70% if you are a micro or 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 which are nearer to market, you could get funding for your eligible project costs of:

  • up to 45% if you are a micro or small business
  • up to 35% if you are a medium-sized business
  • up to 25% if you are a large business

The research organisations in your consortium can share up to 30% of the total eligible project costs. If your consortium contains more than one research organisation, this maximum will be shared between them.


In this competition Innovate UK are not funding projects covering:

  • dedicated internal combustion engine projects
  • business as usual projects which maintain the status quo or do not demonstrate innovation
  • zero carbon fuels
  • vehicle charging
  • vehicle lightweighting
  • energy storage