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

Key Features

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

Programme:     Innovate UK

Award:     Up to £4.9m

Opens: 10th Jul 2017

Closes: 18th Oct 2017

! This scheme is now closed

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.

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)

Innovate UK 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

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.

Innovate UK 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 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)

For further information, please click here.



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)

Funding and project details

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

It is envisaged the funding will be split as:

  • up to £2 million for collaborative feasibility projects
  • up to £4 million for collaborative research and development projects
  • up to £14 million for demonstrator projects

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


Funding and 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 an SME

For experimental development projects that are nearer to market, you could get up to 45% of your eligible project costs if you are an SME

Projects are expected to last up to 3 years and to range in size from total project costs of £1.5 million to £7 million.