Niche Vehicle Competition

Sponsored by Innovate UK, the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) and the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC), the annual Niche Vehicle Network (NVN) Collaborative R&D competition, covering Proof of Concept and Production Readiness Projects is now open for applications.

The APC is pleased to continue our support and alignment with the Niche Vehicle Network Collaborative R&D programme and specifically, to assist with funding for the Production Readiness Projects.

Competition Descriptions

Proof of Concept Projects – Providing grants for UK niche vehicle manufacturers and associated design and engineering companies to undertake R&D of early market low carbon technology demonstration projects. There is match-funding available to support projects to the value of £300,000 through this competition.

Production Readiness Projects – Providing grants for UK SMEs and their supply chains to take existing low carbon vehicle technologies from demonstration through to production readiness in a compressed timescale, leading to significant economic benefits whilst reducing CO2 emissions. There is match-funding available to support projects to the value of £500,000 through this competition.

The focus of this year’s competition will again be on low carbon vehicle technology, with emphasis on electrification, energy efficiency and lightweight vehicle structures.


The competition will provide funding to SMEs active in the UK niche vehicle, low carbon vehicle technology sector (e.g. niche vehicle manufacturers, design & engineering companies, system suppliers, technology and research organisations etc.) for innovative, collaborative R&D activities. The program, therefore, focuses on technologies applicable to low-volume UK production.

Please refer to more detailed information and specific Funding and Scope requirements for each of the two Project types on the NVN Funding Gateway, link below.

Project Scope

Projects need to demonstrate the accelerated development of technologies based around one or more of the following areas:

  • Alternative propulsion systems
  • Aerodynamics for improved fuel efficiency
  • Electric machines and power electronics
  • Energy storage and energy management systems
  • Lightweight vehicle body, chassis and powertrain structures
  • Other disruptive low carbon vehicle technologies

Funding is restricted to technologies applicable to powered road-going and off-highway niche vehicles. Projects must be collaborative and industry-led by an SME. The consortium must include a niche vehicle manufacturer or a tier 1 supplier.

Competition Key Dates:

  • Applications open – 22nd April 2020
  • Applications closed – 8th June 2020
Application pack deadline
8 June 2020
Call for bids closes on
8 June 2020
Submit bid

Meet the Projects Team

Gareth Deakin

Senior Project Delivery Lead
Expertise: Core Competitions

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