Electric Vehicle Accelerator

The Electric Vehicle Innovation Accelerator is part funded through the ERDF programme 2014-2020 and is part of the Go Ultra Low North East Programme. We’re working with ENGIE, seeking to identify innovative solutions that encourage the uptake of electric vehicles and address two key challenges. Innovative solutions related to electric vehicles but outside of these challenges will be considered if they show exceptional commercial potential.

Applicants from North East-based small and medium-sized businesses across all sectors are welcome.  Successful applicants will receive expert support to further develop their solutions from the Innovation SuperNetwork, ENGIE, Zero Carbon Futures, Newcastle University, the North East LEP and Northstar Ventures and can bid for £20k in grant funding.

Challenge 1:
Do you have an innovative solution to help encourage the uptake of electric vehicles?
The government has issued targets through their Road to Zero Strategy to increase the take-up of electric vehicles (EVs) and is committed to making nearly all cars and vans zero-emission by 2050. Here in the North East, air quality poses a real threat to many of our major towns and cities; continued uptake of EVs will assist in helping to reduce high levels of pollution and making our environment a better place for everyone. However, there is still much to do in this field in order to meet this challenge and ensure the region, as well as the wider country, is equipped to meet these targets. We are calling North East business to look at the existing EV field whether that be infrastructure related or behaviour change and bring forward solutions that will help this transition to a cleaner society as well as assisting in the uptake of EVs.

Challenge 2:
Do you have an innovative solution that can transform the distribution of temperature-controlled goods?
Daily deliveries for sectors such as cold-chain pharmaceutical and commercial food are traditionally transported in temperature-controlled diesel-powered vehicles. Depending on the size of the van, truck or trailer, the temperature-controlled unit will be powered directly by the vehicle’s engine or by independent refrigeration units. There are solutions in development which will make electrification of traditional vehicles practical in the future but in the meantime, we are looking for innovative solutions which could offer an alternative low emission transportation system for temperature-controlled logistics. This could be an innovative last mile delivery solution, an application to ease congestion and better manage temperature-controlled vehicles entering towns and cities or an idea which will revolutionise the way refrigerated goods are transported.

Challenge 3:
Do you have an innovative solution to simplify the costs and complexity of installing domestic electric vehicle charging solutions?
Since the introduction of new wiring regulations in January 2019, installers of domestic electric vehicle charging solutions are commonly faced with earthing difficulties, meaning quotes initially provided to customers can regularly change once the installers are on site, and costs can rise significantly depending on unpredictable local factors. A solution which simplifies the calculation of an installation quote, allows remote assessment of the suitability of a location for installation, or minimises installation complexities would be hugely beneficial. This solution will also need to adhere to wiring regulations, be ‘future-proofed’ if the customer changes their vehicle or an electrician needs to make repairs and allow for great customer service.

Download the Electric Vehicle Application form here.
Applications are welcome.
You can find supporting technical information here.

What will I get from this?

Shortlisted businesses will benefit from intensive business support on both technical and commercial aspects of their innovative solution to help them be ready for commercialisation or for significant further investment. 

There will also be a pitch opportunity to win a £20,000 grant to help bring their idea to market. 

Who is it for?

Applications are now open.

The collaboration are particularly keen to speak to businesses in the electrical, construction, manufacturing, architecture sectors and related fields. Companies will need to be based in the North East LEP area or happy to relocate to be eligible. 


How do I get involved?

To get involved in the Electric Vehicle Challenge, you can find the application form here