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Electric vehicle challenge for North East businesses

As part of the Go Ultra Low North East campaign, The Electric Vehicle Innovation Accelerator is a new programme aimed at identifying and developing ways to overcome barriers that are preventing the adoption of electric vehicles.

The North East LEP’s Energy Programme Lead, Andrew Clark, will be part of the panel of industry experts tasked with selecting the strongest ideas aimed at increasing the uptake of electric vehicles.

North East businesses are being invited to apply for this new accelerator programme which is all about generating new ideas around increasing the take-up of electric vehicles.

We know that some of the barriers to the use of electric vehicles include the cost and complexity of installing the necessary charging infrastructure, as well as the practicalities around temperature controlled vehicles, and it is these specific challenges that the programme will aim to address.

Businesses of all sizes and operating in any sector are invited to apply to the accelerator programme, and those who are successful will receive intensive business support and the opportunity to win a £20,000 grant to help bring their idea to market.

What’s exciting about this programme is that it’s an area where two strands of our regional expertise come together: energy and transport. The North East has strengths in both these sectors and it’s an opportunity for us to explore what can come out of cross-sector innovation. For that reason, we’d particularly love to hear from businesses operating in the electrical, construction, manufacturing and architecture sectors, and related fields, as well as those in the electric vehicle arena.

We’re a region which excels when it comes to innovating and demonstrating new technologies which can help us make the transition to a low-carbon economy, including those at the intersection between transport and energy.

The shift to low emission transport and electric vehicles is a focus of national energy policy, and it’s an area where the North East has leading expertise and can really make a difference, as well as being an opportunity to create more and better jobs through our growing energy and automotive sectors.

Electric vehicles are a part of all our futures and they’re an important part of the future economy of the North East too. I’m looking forward to working with my fellow panel members from the Innovation SuperNetwork, Zero Carbon Futures, Newcastle University and Northstar Ventures to select the ideas which have the most commercial potential and relevance to the challenge and which have the capacity to help us build our economy, strengthen our communities, and bring more and better jobs to the North East.

Andrew Clark, Energy Programme Lead, North East LEP.

The Electric Vehicle Innovation Accelerator is being delivered by the Innovation SuperNetwork and ENGIE. Businesses interested in finding out more are invited to attend a workshop on Monday 25 March at the Urban Sciences Building at Newcastle Helix to launch the first wave of challenges and introduce the programme.

Applications for the full programme will open following the launch event. Sign up for the workshop