Zero emission road freight (Strands 1-3)

The Department for Transport (DfT) will work with Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, to invest up to £10 million in innovation projects. This investment is for advanced feasibility studies into zero emission road freight. This competition will conduct pre-deployment work for a possible future electric road system demonstration. Interested? Then feel free to contact us!


Competition closes: 5th May (Strand 1-3);

Applicants notified: 4th June (Strand 1-2); 31st May (Strand 3);

Project start date & duration: July 2021 for up to 9 months


Strand 1: Electric road system demonstration feasibility studies. Your project must:

  • deliver an advanced feasibility study on the future deployment of an electric road system for 44 tonne zero emission road freight.
  • include planning, preliminary engineering designs and site (demonstration route) surveys
  • Engage with stakeholders who are critical to any future deployment (eg Highways England /National Grid).
  • Ensure the pre-authorisation or approvals have been considered in depth and progressed

Strand 2: hydrogen fuel cell vehicles demonstration feasibility studies. Your project must:

  • Deliver an advanced feasibility study on the use of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles for zero emission road freight.
  • Propose a fully zero tailpipe carbon emission demonstration, using ‘green’ hydrogen produced solely from renewable sources for the trucks
  • Ensure the demonstration you propose is supported by a strategic network of hydrogen refuelling stations
  • Ensure the pre-authorisation or approvals have been considered in depth and progressed

Strand 3: supply chain technology feasibility studies and industrial research. Your project can focus on one or more of the following to address the challenges associated with the transition to zero emission road freight:

  • power electronics, machines and drives
  • energy storage and energy management
  • lightweight vehicle and powertrain structures
  • infrastructure for hydrogen refuelling and electric road systems
  • highly disruptive zero emission technologies


  • You must collaborate with at least one other organisation (Business/university/public sector organisation)
  • Carry out all project work and exploit opportunity in the UK
  • Comply with Subsidy Control requirements

Funding Rates

  • Total eligible project costs between £500k-£2million (Strand1-2); £100k-£250k (Strand 3);
  • up to 70% if you are a micro or small organisation (Strand 1-3)
  • up to 60% if you are a medium-sized organisation (Strand 1-3)
  • up to 50% if you are a large organisation (Strand 1-3)

Research organisations in your consortium can share up to 30% of the UK total eligible project costs.


Need help?

Please contact us for further information on the funding scheme, to discuss a project or how we can support you with an application.

More details and other funding opportunities from Innovate UK can be viewed here.