£80,000 EV challenge fund opens for the North East

Four £20,000 grants are available for businesses in the North East who come up with ways that increase the uptake of electric vehicles.

As part of the Go Ultra Low North East campaign, local businesses are invited to apply to The Electric Vehicle Innovation Accelerator and successful applicants will receive intensive business support along with an opportunity to win a £20,000 grant to help bring their idea to market.

The accelerator is being delivered by the Innovation SuperNetwork and ENGIE who will host a workshop on Monday March 25 at the Urban Sciences Building at Newcastle Helix to launch the first wave of challenges and introduce the programme.

Simon Green, CEO of the Innovation SuperNetwork said: ‘Not only is the low emission agenda a critical part of global decision making around managing climate change, it presents a unique commercial opportunity for businesses across the North East to help drive the uptake of electric vehicles, thanks to our position as a test-bed for rapid filling stations.

‘This programme offers local businesses the opportunity to receive technical and commercial advice first-hand from industry experts, giving them a real chance of bringing their innovative solutions to life.’

‘We hope to attract a diverse range of businesses, including those from outside the electric vehicle space, to explore the opportunities presented by these challenges.’

Cllr Martin Gannon, chair of the North East Joint Transport Committee, added: ‘We need to encourage more people to make the shift away from diesel and petrol vehicles to cleaner, greener electric versions but first we need to overcome some of the barriers that are preventing this.

‘There is a wealth of innovative companies in our region who can help us come up with solutions and we look forward to seeing some of the ideas they can bring while supporting firms with a grant to make them a reality.’

The second wave of the programme will be launched in June 2019 and will focus on making electrification practical for temperature-controlled distribution, such as the electrification of refrigerated vehicles, along with solving how to use telematics to better manage infrastructure specific to electric vehicles. By October 2019, 16 new solutions will be ready for commercialisation or for significant further investment.

Applications for the full programme will open following the launch event. To sign-up for the first workshop on March 25, visit here.