Companies across the region win share of £20 million zero-emission vehicle competition

Ox vehicle

Projects to power up the electric vehicle revolution from across the region have received a boost through the Government’s £20 million research and development competition,

The funding has been awarded to 62 promising electric vehicle technology innovations from across the whole of the country.

But style hasn’t been overlooked in favour of substance. The Department for Transport has also launched a competition to find an iconic British design for public chargepoints, which are now proliferating across the country.

The resulting design is set to be unveiled at COP26 in Glasgow this November.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “Ahead of major climate summit COP26 this year, investment in exciting projects such as these is key to making the switch to electric vehicles more attractive for drivers than ever before.

“Not only will they propel us further towards our net-zero ambitions, they will also help harness some of the brightest talent in the UK tech industry, encouraging businesses to become global leaders in EV innovation and creating jobs as we build back better.”

This investment will help ensure the UK remains a world leader in EV design and manufacture. Previous OZEV R&D funding has supported the UK’s first solar electric forecourt in Braintree, Essex. The solar canopy and the multi-megawatt battery storage system provide sustainable and low-cost energy as well as helping to balance demands on the electricity grid. The project hopes to make electric vehicle charging as easy as using a petrol station.

A separate project is trialling vehicle-to-grid technology, enabling EVs to store and sell energy back to the grid during increased levels of demand. The owners of the 320 EVs involved in the trial saved an average of £420 on their annual electricity bills.

The winning projects based across our region include:
  • Chilled OX project, led by the Global Vehicle Trust (Leamington Spa), will develop a solar-powered refrigeration unit for small commercial vehicles, enabling up to a 37 per cent increase in battery range.
  • Jaguar Land Rover Limited (Warwickshire) with Ricardo UK Limited TOBEV: Thermally Optimised Battery Electric Vehicle. Optimising vehicle thermal energy by using models of the full vehicle combined with advanced optimisation approaches based on Optimal Control theory.
  • Penso Consulting Ltd (Coventry) with The Global Vehicle Trust, to develop a road legal truck for commercial use. Increasing the adoption of small commercial ZEVs in the UK agricultural & land-use sectors by developing a zero-emissions light truck which will be used for customer demonstration.
  • Stalcom Automotive Technologies Limited (Pershore) with Composite Braiding Limited and JSC Automotive Limited. Electric lightweight vans and special use vehicle platform. Delivering a flexible, configurable, and scalable zero emission electric vehicle platform designed for commercial, last mile and specialist applications including public service and blue light emergency services.
  • Williams Advanced Engineering Limited (Grove, Oxfordshire), with the London Fire Brigade and Imperial College; Battery packs for fire engines.  Feasibility study to deliver a battery pack design, business case and supporting technical analysis, to deliver the lowest TCO and LCA possible for Fire tender vehicles.
  • Involution Technologies Limited (Leamington Spa) with Depe Gear Company Limited, University of Bath. A feasibility study into a new Electric Drive Unit that matches or exceeds the performance of existing ICE or Electric drivetrains and is capable of being retrofitted into existing vehicles by simply removing the ICE and gearbox and connecting the INVO-EDU directly to the prop shaft.
  • Dyotec Materials Ltd (Calne, Wiltshire) with the Centre for Process Innovation Ltd and Design Led Products Limited. Improve the user experience in ZEVs through creation of smart surfaces, embedding electronics inside 3D surface materials.
  • Mind Foundry Limited (Oxford). Develop a software tool enabling Local Authorities and charge point operators to simulate the effects of different charge point locations on local energy demand, and then to make informed decisions about what type of public charger should be installed where to suit their area’s needs.
  • Oxford Direct Services Trading Limited. Pilot of pavement gullies for charging cables to run from home charger to on-street parking spaces.
  • Richmond Design & Marketing Limited (Coventry). Autonomous mobile charger & integrated energy storage for large carparks, aiming to deliver fast charging (50 miles range in 40 minutes) of multiple EVs without needing a local grid connection.
  • Next Green Car Ltd (Bristol). A routing service that quantifies zero/low carbon journeys for fleet EVs and provides real time tariff info providing zero-cost renewable electricity.
  • Albright Product Design limited (Cheltenham). New charge point design to improve accessibility for disabled and elderly users.
  • TZI UK Limited (Oxford), with Honeycomb Network LLP. Development of a locker-type charging solution for e-scooters, which can cater for all brands of scooter.