Business grants

Zero Emissions Heavy Duty Vehicles

Innovation challenge: Zero Emissions Heavy Duty Vehicles (closed)

Grant funding for Scottish businesses to develop innovative solutions that will help the Heavy Duty Vehicles sector to decarbonise. This Scotland CAN DO funding call offers 100% of eligible project costs to help you undertake detailed design and assess the feasibility of your solution. This is now closed to new applications.

About the challenge

The Zero Emissions Heavy Duty Vehicle innovation challenge is a competition to help Scottish businesses develop innovative solutions that can support the decarbonisation of Heavy Duty Vehicles and Scotland’s green recovery.

Funded by Transport Scotland and managed by Scottish Enterprise as a national, Scotland CAN DO innovation challenge call, it's open to any eligible organisation in Scotland.

Grant support for 100% of the eligible project costs is available. This will allow companies to undertake detailed design and assess the technical and commercial feasibility of their proposed solution over a period of 3 to 5 months, with projects completing by the end of March 2022. 

A minimum of £30,000 and a maximum of £50,000 grant funding is available.

Other key information

  • Projects can be focused on developing innovative whole vehicle and or sub systems solutions. Full challenge details are shown below.
  • The funding will cover your feasibility project only.
  • Winning companies will have the potential to tap into additional support to identify and bid for external funding for the prototype and demonstration projects.

Challenge call objectives

  • Innovative technology solutions must help the Heavy Duty Vehicle sector to decarbonise and move towards a zero emissions future, and support Scotland to reduce its carbon emissions.
  • Your proposed solution should address the zero emissions mobility Heavy Duty Vehicles, whole vehicle or sub system challenges areas - as defined in the challenge brief below.
  • Following feasibility projects, you must plan to develop and demonstrate prototype solutions in Scotland
  • You must intend to commercialise your solution to the challenge and this commercialisation must support the development of Scotland’s green economic recovery. There must be demonstrable longer-term impact from the project in relation to Scottish jobs that support the green economy.

The full details

How much funding is available?

This call will offer grants of between £30,000 and £50,000.

100% funding will be provided for eligible costs through the de minimis* state aid exemption.

The challenge brief

The Heavy Duty Vehicles (on and off road) sector

All projects must develop solutions which can support the on and off road Heavy Duty Vehicle sector to reduce its carbon impact and to move towards a zero emissions future. Heavy Duty Vehicles typically range from 3.5 tonnes to 44 tonnes in weight.

Technology focus and subsystem challenge areas 

This call is focused on technologies that can ultimately lead to a zero emissions Heavy Duty Vehicles sector, which are battery electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.

(1) Full Vehicle Zero Emissions Heavy Duty Vehicles challenge

Battery electric vehicles and H2 FC vehicle application. Do you have a solution and plan to develop a zero emissions Heavy Duty Vehicle using battery electric or hydrogen fuel cell technology?

(2) Zero Emissions Heavy Duty Vehicles Subsystem challenge areas

The high-level innovation challenges for subsystems are outlined below.

Can you provide solutions that can reduce costs, improve performance and increase durability of battery electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel cell vehicle technologies in the following areas?

More details can be found in:

Is my project eligible?

The funding will support the cost for you to conduct detailed design, technical and commercial feasibility projects. To be eligible, your feasibility project must:

  • Be an R&D feasibility project that clearly addresses the challenge brief
  • Be aimed at providing the technical detail and commercial case for subsequent prototype development and demonstration projects
  • Be aiming to develop and commercialise innovative technology (this funding competition is not aimed at supporting businesses to decarbonise their fleets)
  • Last between 3 and 5 months
  • Be completed by end March 2022
  • Be largely carried out in Scotland - following the feasibility project, the aim should be to prototype and demonstrate the solution in Scotland

You must also not have started the project, or committed to any project costs, before a grant funding contract is signed. 

Is my business eligible?

This call is open to businesses of any size. To be eligible, you must:

  • Be registered or trading in the Scottish Enterprise area, or looking to set up a trading location in this area before 1 October 2021. This project is open to businesses across Scotland in the SE, HIE and SOSE areas.
  • Be a registered company (a company that’s registered with Companies House).
  • Be an individual business – we can’t accept applications from collaborations.
  • Be committed to fair working practices. Fair work is work that offers all individuals an effective voice, opportunity, security, fulfilment and respect. It also includes paying employees at least the real Living Wage (currently £9.50 in Scotland). You can find out more and access free resources using the Fair Work Employer Support Tool.
  • You should check that this grant doesn't breach your threshold for de minimis funding, currently 200,000 Euros over a three year fiscal period. 

Eligible project costs

Eligible costs for the feasibility projects include:

  • Employee wages
  • Contractors
  • Consultants
  • Supplies and materials
  • Travel costs

For more details, see guidance on eligible project costs (Word, 25kB).


Stay informed about future grant support

Applications for this funding call are now closed. Sign up to our newsletter to stay informed about future grant support, funding opportunities, events, webinars and industry news.

Attend a briefing workshop

To help you learn more about this challenge call, we're running a briefing event on 5 August, 11am to 12pm.

Register to attend the workshop on the CEED website. 

How will applications be assessed?

We'll consider a number of different factors, including:

  • How well the proposal meets the challenge call objectives (shown above)
  • Scottish jobs impact
  • How innovative the proposal is
  • Robustness of the project plan
  • Experience and capability of the team
  • Justification of budget and value for money
  • Commercial potential of the proposal


  • Notification of results - 15 October 2021
  • Contract issued by - 29 October 2021
  • Earliest project start date - 1 November 2021
  • Latest project end date and submission of final claim  - 31 March 2022

Got a question?

If you have any questions about this funding call, you can get in touch with our team.