A project trialing a bi-directional charger to allow electric vehicles (EVs) to discharge energy back to the grid has been announced as one of the nine winners of the first round of the Freight Innovation Fund (FIF).
Launched in January 2023 and delivered by Connected Places Catapult, FIF is a three year, £7 million programme, which aims to support the development of cleaner methods of delivering freight across the country. The scheme’s ultimate goal is to reduce emissions, increasing high-skilled jobs and improving delivery services for remote areas.
One of the winners of the first FIF funding round were Otaski Energy Solutions and Syselek. The project, based in Gateshead and partnered with Costain, has been awarded £145,000 to support the development of a smart charge and bi-directional converter to help create an “intelligent vehicle fleet charging system” that allows EVs to receive and discharge energy to and from the grid.
Other grant winners include:
- Skyport Deliveries awarded £150,000 – a project based in Orkney, Scotland, partnered with Royal Mail and Loganair, which aims to use drones to make deliveries to remote areas and improve island-to-island connectivity.
- CurbCargo awarded £120,000 –based in London and partnered with Savills this project uses data to track the environmental impact of freight deliveries
- Lightricity awarded £119,000 – based in Oxford and partnered with Bradford Swissport, the project has created a technology to harness energy from indoor and low-level light sources to power battery-free tracking devices.
- Electric Assisted Vehicles awarded £150,000 – based in Bicester, Oxfordshire and partnered with FedEx Express this project is developing an electrically assisted four-wheel delivery vehicle as an alternative to fossil-fuelled transport..
“The freight sector has an enormous opportunity to support jobs and growth across the UK, which is why today we are pleased to welcome the nine small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to the first round of the Freight Innovation Fund Accelerator,” said Nicola Yates OBE, CEO at Connected Places Catapult.
“Working with innovators and industry partners through our accelerator programme allows us to develop a pipeline of technology and new ideas that promise to help tackle the freight sector’s emerging needs, ensuring that resilience, efficiency and carbon reduction are core to the sector’s future.”