DfT handing out £20 million of funding in electric vehicle design contest

Posted: 21 June 2021 | | No comments yet

The winners of the research and development competition include a hydrogen-powered ambulance and a kinetic battery to boost the charge of electric vehicles.

Charging point on a UK street

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has announced a £20 million funding boost to winners of an electric vehicle research and development competition ahead of the COP26 climate conference set to be held in Glasgow later this year.   

Among the winning projects are an onboard plug-in device that provides drivers with data on battery health to improve the experience of buying second-hand EVs, a kinetic battery that will provide a temporary power boost for charging the next generation of ultra-fast EVs at peak times in rural areas, and a zero emission ambulance with a hydrogen range extender.

The funding, awarded to 62 electric vehicle technology innovations, could unlock some of the biggest barriers to EV ownership by providing solutions to battery health and charging for both urban and rural areas.

To support the transition to zero emission vehicles, chargepoints need to be easy to use, accessible for all and fit alongside our existing street infrastructure.

As the UK accelerates towards a zero-emission transport future, the Department for Transport (DfT) has also launched a project to find “an iconic British design” for public chargepoints, which it claims could see UK chargepoints become as recognisable as a red post box or a black cab. The resulting design is set to be unveiled at COP26 in Glasgow this November.

“Ahead of the major COP26 climate summit 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,” said Transport Secretary Grant Shapps.

“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 announcement is a welcome step on the road to increasing the take-up of electric vehicles. Innovations like the ones announced today can help stimulate demand and grow British manufacturing in this vital industry,” added Silviya Barrett, from Campaign for Better Transport.

“Coupled with measures to improve the public transport network and encourage its use, we can start to truly tackle carbon emissions, air pollution and congestion and move towards a greener, fairer recovery.”