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.
You must be available to attend three meetings over the course of your project. These will be with at least, the DfT and Innovate UK, and possibly other stakeholders.
You may also be required to engage with contractors from Innovate UK and the Department for Transport who are exploring complementary factors associated with the future demonstration.
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
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
Your project can propose a fully zero tailpipe emission demonstration.
If you believe that a fully zero emission demonstration will not meet any operational requirements, you can use hybrid or a mixed demonstration of hybrid and zero emission trucks.
Your approach to vehicles must be scalable. Scale can be achieved through:
- Supply by an original equipment manufacturer (OEM)
- The adaptation of a vehicle obtained from an OEM to enable it to connect to an electric road system
- The fitout of a new ‘glider’ with a zero-emission power train and electric road system hardware
This list is not intended to be exhaustive.
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 five 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.
- 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
During the feasibility study you must engage with interested operators that could use your proposed demonstration to deliver a real-world road freight requirement.
You can include a highway access programme to enable construction and system optimisation with minimum disruption to other road users.
Innovations you plan as part of a future deployment must not increase risk of delay or obstruct the demonstration.
Innovate UK want to fund a portfolio of projects across the three strands of this competition.
The programme reserves the right to adjust the distribution of funding across zero emission road freight competitions.
Demonstrations are not expected to be ready for immediate deployment at the conclusion of your feasibility study.