• Status: Closed

  • Key features: Innovate UK and the Office for low emission Vehicles (OleV) are to invest up to £10 million in a single consortium to develop a pilot line to understand how to produce high-voltage electric vehicle batteries at a rate that can later be scaled up for commercial production.

  • Programme: Collaborative research and development

  • Award: Up to £10 million

  • Opens: 20 Apr 2015, 00:00

  • Registration closes: 27 May 2015, 12:00

  • Closes: 03 Jun 2015, 12:00

  • Support phone number: 0300 321 4357

Spearheading future electric vehicle battery production

Competition results

See the competition results here.

Summary

Office for Low Emission Vehicles logoInnovate UK and the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) are to invest up to £10 million in a single consortium to develop a pilot line to understand how to produce high-voltage electric vehicle batteries at a rate that can later be scaled up for commercial production.

We aim to bring together and develop the best UK capability and expertise in all areas of battery technology for electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles – beginning with cells and cell modules – to produce complete high-voltage battery packs and provide the necessary control systems and validation testing that is critical for delivering optimum performance on the road.

Proposals must be collaborative and may be led by a business or research organisation. We expect to fund a single project with work packages of both industrial research and experimental development. For industrial research, large commercial partners will generally attract up to 50% public funding for their project costs, medium-sized businesses up to 60%, small businesses up to 70%, and research organisations up to 100%. For experimental development, large business will generally attract up to 25% public funding, medium-sized businesses up to 35%, and small businesses up to 45%.
 
The successful consortium should include a research organisation, at least 2 vehicle manufacturers, at least one industrial supply chain partner, and at least one SME.
 
We expect the project to range in size from total costs of £15 million to £20 million, although we may consider a project outside this range.
 
This is a two-stage competition that opens for applicants on 20 April 2015. The first stage is a written application. Selected applicants will be invited for an interview at the second stage. The deadline for registration is noon on 27 May 2015and the deadline for written applications is at noon on 3 June 2015.
 

There will be a competition briefing and consortium-building event for potential applicants at the National Motorcycle Museum in Solihull on 15 April 2015.

Key dates

Competition opens 20 April 2015
Competition briefing 15 April 2015
Registration deadline noon 27 May 2015
Deadline for applications noon 3 June 2015
Interview stage 7 and 8 July 2015
Winning consortium announced late August 2015
 

 

Background

The UK automotive sector has come a long way in a very short time in the development and deployment of new technologies needed for the current and future range of ultra low emission vehicles (ULEVs). Innovate UK and OLEV have played a crucial role in supporting the development of ULEV technology in the UK and are committed to cementing the UK's position as a world leader in developing the next generation of vehicles.
 
There have been some superb advances in internal combustion engine technology, electric motors and power electronics, and reducing the weight of the vehicle and powertrain. There remain some very high-value opportunities, especially in energy storage and energy management, as there is no international centre or settled supply chain for sourcing the high-voltage electric and hybrid-vehicle batteries.
 
Innovate UK's Low Carbon Vehicles Innovation Platform (LCVIP) has supported the development of electric vehicle traction battery technology over recent years. The opportunity exists now to bring together our strong capabilities in this field and offer vehicle manufacturers a complete off-the- shelf solution for high-voltage traction batteries. The global market for electric vehicle batteries is expected to be around $25 billion by 2020.

Scope

Innovate UK and OLEV are looking to make a single award of up to £10 million to a consortium of UK organisations aiming to become capable of ultimately offering a turnkey service for high-voltage traction batteries.
 
The consortium must include, or develop as part of the project, all the skills and capabilities required to consider how to produce whole battery packs for a variety of on-road vehicles and, optionally, for non-road vehicles. These capabilities should include as a minimum:
  • cell handling
  • design, development, assembly, testing, and validation of complete traction batteries to production-level quality, safety and robustness
  • electronic-control hardware and software (for example, the battery management systems)
  • charge-flow and thermal controls, mechanical and environmental modelling, simulation, and testing
  • physical and electrical integration with manufacturers' vehicles
Some of these capabilities may be found in single partner organisations or may be spread over several partners. The consortium lead should host the pilot line and co-ordinate all work from that site – although the actual detailed design, development, and testing work may be located elsewhere at partners' premises as best suits the consortium partners.
 
This project will develop a pilot production line that will be used for developing the processes necessary for complete battery production in the future. The pilot line should be capable of producing a variety of different traction battery types, and the consortium should understand how it could be scaled up for future high-volume production.
 
The project will be judged successful if it deploys small batches of production-quality high-voltage traction batteries into one or more vehicles and the consortium is poised to offer its service commercially to the market as a battery-pack design, development, and pre-production service at the project's conclusion.
 
Projects seeking to build a single-customer battery assembly facility, battery cell production facilities, or pure research facilities are out of scope.

Funding allocation and project details

We have allocated up to £10 million to fund a single collaborative research and development project that addresses the technical challenges outlined in the scope.
 
Successful applicants can attract grant funding towards their eligible project costs. The percentage of costs that we pay varies, depending on the type of organisation involved.
 
For this competition the project must be collaborative and last 12 to 18 months. It can be led by a business or a research organisation. The consortium should comprise, as a minimum:
 
  • a research organisation (as likely lead partner and host of a pilot line for battery manufacturing and testing)
  • at least two vehicle manufacturers to provide the ‘customer pull' and a route to market for the finished battery pack designs, comprising:
    • oneroad-vehiclemanufacturer
    • at least one other – can be a manufacturer of on-road or non-road vehicles
  • at least one large industrial supply-chain partner
  • at least one SME 
We expect to fund a single project with work packages of both industrial research and experimental development. For industrial research, large commercial partners will generally attract up to 50% public funding for their project costs, medium-sized businesses up to 60%, small businesses up to 70%, and research organisations up to 100%. For experimental development, large business will generally attract up to 25% public funding, medium-sized businesses up to 35%, and small businesses up to 45%.
 
We expect the project to range in size from total costs of £15 million to £20 million. We may consider a project outside this range but applicants should contact us directly before making their application to discuss further.
 
For an opportunity to network online, please go to the Low Carbon Vehicles Innovation Platform area on _connect (https://connect.innovateuk.org/web/idp/overview)
 
To find out if your business fits the EU definition of an SME, see: http://ec.europa.eu/growth/smes/business-friendly-environment/sme-definition/index_en.htm
 

Application process

This is a 2-stage competition that opens for applicants on 20 April 2015.
 
Stage 1 – each applicant submits a full written application which is assessed.
Stage 2 – we invite selected applicants to attend an interview.
 
The deadline for registration is noon 27 May 2015, and the deadline for applications is noon 3 June 2015.
 
Applications are assessed on individual merit by an independent panel of experts.
 
There will be a consortium-building/ information day, combined with a competition briefing to highlight the main features of the competition and to explain the application process, at the National Motorcycle Museum in Solihull on 15 April 2015. More details will be made available on the LCVIP _connect group https://connect.innovateuk.org/web/idp/overview
 
Applicants are strongly recommended to attend this event. If applicants need to register for events it will usually be through connect.innovateuk.org/events.
 
Note: All deadlines are at noon.

More information

To apply you must first register with us through this competition page. Registration opens when the competition opens and closes a week before the deadline for applications.
 
Competition helpline: 0300 321 4357

Help for SMEs to grow faster

Small businesses that combine the funding they receive from us with additional business support are more likely to grow faster. If you are an SME and receive funding through this competition, you will automatically gain access to a growth workshop, an online diagnostic and a growth expert to help you develop a growth plan. This may include coaching, mentoring and entrepreneurial skills training.
 

Publicity

As part of the application process all applicants are asked to submit a public description of the project. This should adequately describe the project but not disclose any information that may impact on intellectual property, is confidential or commercially sensitive. The titles of successful projects, names of organisations, amounts awarded and the public description will be published once the decision to offer an award has been communicated to applicants by email. Information about unsuccessful project applications will remain confidential and will not be made public.
E-mail pressoffice@innovateuk.gov.uk with any queries.