The government has unveiled the winning projects of £12 million in funding for electric vehicle (EV) research and development (R&D) alongside plans to support the switch to electric vans.
Together with Innovate UK, the funding will support a range of what the Department for Transport (DfT) described as ground-breaking projects as part of a series of competitions for the most promising EV technologies.
It is hoped that the funding will support the projects to open up “significant commercial opportunities”, one of which, the DfT said, could see future cars charge in six minutes.
Other winners of the Catalysing Green Innovation programme include the ABOVE project into the feasibility of Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) charging with battery-enhanced charging infrastructure, which would remove the need for grid upgrades. It won £138, 494, while a feasibility study to optimise smart charging and V2G in residential charging by Hypervolt won £80,059.
Another project run by Miralis Data Ltd and Envisij Ltd that is looking to develop optimised algorithms that can create smart charging schedules for fleets won £257,817 in Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) funding. The algorithm will take into consideration tariff optimisation, charge levels, grid load balancing, prioritisation and demand side response.
The winners of the second competition under the £12 million funding, the Niche Vehicle Network 2020 Proof of Concept R&D, were also announced today.
Alongside the £12 million funding, Highways England is to provide local authorities with £9.3 million in funding to encourage businesses to switch to electric vans. This funding will allow businesses to have a two month trial of electric vans for free.
In a report, commissioned by the government and produced by OLEV, put forward further recommendations the DfT will now consider drive a shift to EVs.
These include green-coloured parking spaces, charge points at popular destinations such as supermarkets and tourist sites, consistent and clear public signage for drivers on UK roads and dedicated EV sites for buying and selling cars, it said.
The DfT has already worked with Autotrade, a website for buying and selling cars, to develop an EV section on its own website to help potential EV purchasers with their decision.
Transport secretary Grant Shapps said he was “delighted to announce our unwavering support for a cleaner, greener transport future” on World EV Day - which was held yesterday, 9 September - the world’s first ever day dedicated to celebrating EVs.
The government has made a number of announcements for EVs recently, including the £500 million Rapid Charging Fund designed to help finance the connection costs for 350kW chargers at motorway sites across the UK.