A second challenge request for Zero Emissions Heavy Duty Vehicles was recently completed by Transport Scotland and Scottish Enterprise under its Can Do Innovation Challenge framework to stimulate net zero transportation innovation.


Transport Minister Jenny Gilruth

Scottish Transport Minister Jenny Gilruth

This round of financing was an expansion of a programme began in 2021, with winning projects including boats, gritters, and offroad excavators.

The funds will be used by Electron Garage in Glenrothes to create a retrofit solution to electrify diesel gritters using swappable batteries. When the vehicle is not in use, depots with 24-hour capabilities and vehicle-to-grid capacity will be able to draw into onsite renewables and off-peak power.

The refit intends to give a more cost-effective alternative for public sector fleets, and Wayne Campbell of Electron Garage stated that the initiative has already received approval from East Lothian Council.

“We ultimately aim to help all local authorities to electrify all of their heavy duty vehicles – and save money in the process - factoring in their range of different duty cycles and providing retrofit solutions that work for them. We are thankful for the support of Scottish Enterprise’s Zero Emissions Heavy Duty Vehicles challenge call as it is vital we look to reduce emissions around transport.” said Campbell.

Scottish Enterprise director of economic opportunities and climate Suzanne Sosna said: “Our partnership with Transport Scotland is to encourage manufacturing innovation around heavy duty vehicles that both boosts our economy and helps meet environmental targets. Transport is one of the largest carbon emitters, so it’s encouraging to see such innovative projects have won this funding.  

“The impressive projects are providing solutions to fuel the heavy duty vehicles of the future and it is also great to see some emerge from flagship partnerships such as Dundee’s Michelin Scotland Innovation Parc.”

Scottish Minister for Transport Jenny Gilruth said: “I’m pleased that over half a million pounds from the Scottish Government will support 12 exciting transport decarbonisation projects across the country. This work can be complex, but our funding is helping to create commercial success stories – positioning Scotland at the forefront of the global low carbon economy we need to see.

The projects receiving funding are:

  • ZEM Fuel Systems Ltd, St Andrews, is a start-up company developing direct ammonia fuel cells to decarbonise the maritime sector and is also working on projects funded by the Net Zero Technology Centre. The firm aims to develop and implement its zero-emission technology for use in offshore and onshore applications to help decarbonise the energy industry.
  • Laidir Circular Mobility, Dundee (MSIP) is developing a different type of Power Unit for electric Heavy Commercial Vehicles. By incorporating biological solutions it is possible to refill an electric truck with a liquid energy carrier, which supports long range and extended duty cycle applications
  • OTG, St Andrews and Dundee (MSIP) for a battery electric drive train for a hydrofoil boat
  • Orion Research, Renfrewshire, for a battery electric breaker tool for an offroad excavator
  • Zugbox, Glasgow, for the development of an innovative container system to support electric vehicle road to rail transport
  • HVS, Glasgow, will develop a bespoke energy storage system for its zero-emission hydrogen-electric fuel cell trucks
  • Davidsons Brothers, Shotts, will use the grant toward developing an innovative green hydrogen fuelling station
  • Electron Garage, Glenrothes, will take forward a project to develop a battery powered electric retrofit system for road gritters
  • Mage Control Systems, East Kilbride, is working on an innovative HDV control system for fuel cell systems
  • ULEMCo, Aberdeen, will utilise funding towards a hydrogen combustion powertrain solution for public sector HDV fleets
  • Industrial Systems and Control, Glasgow , will take forward a project for a battery control system to optimise the performance of battery electric trucks
  • Vahanomy, Edinburgh, will work on an AI system to optimise charging infrastructure investment planning

The Can Do innovation challenge call assists Scottish innovators in assessing the viability of their concepts, developing detailed designs, and developing a business case for innovations that will help Scotland’s net zero aspirations and the creation of a low carbon economy.