5 tips for applying to the LEV Contestable Fund

EECA has just opened Round 5 of the Low Emission Vehicles Contestable Fund.  Applications are due by 8 am on 19 September 2018.  If you have been developing your electric vehicle project idea, here are five tips to help improve your application:

Tip 1: Only ask for the level of funding you actually need

Applicants can request up to 50% co-funding from the Fund, but remember it’s a competitive fund.  The previous four rounds have all been heavily oversubscribed, so the Fund Panel (which makes recommendations on which projects EECA should fund) are looking to where they can get best value for EECA’s investment.   For example, if you only need 35% funding from EECA to get your project to fly, then only ask for this and not the maximum of 50% allowable.  This should improve the value for money rating (one of the four assessment criteria) for your project and make it more competitive.

Tip 2: Your project should be ready to go

The whole point of the Fund is to bring forward the uptake of EVs.   If a project could be delayed because there are still project development steps to go through, then this risks tying up funding which could be used for other good projects able to be implemented more quickly.   The Panel will be looking for solid projects which are ready to go once they have the co-funding they need. If you still need approval from your Board, or haven’t identified all your suppliers, then it may be worth waiting for the next round when your project is more developed.

Tip 3: Only ask for funding towards additional costs of electrification

EECA co-funding goes towards the additional costs of electrification, but not other aspects of your project.  For example, a freight company wants to demonstrate an electric truck in a new application.  It can apply for co-funding towards the extra cost of the electric truck above what it would have paid for a similar diesel truck, and the costs of charging infrastructure.  EECA will not contribute towards the full costs of the truck as this would subsidise the underlying freight business.  EECA asks you to provide an assessment of the additional costs of electrification.  It will also make its own assessment of what this is.  Accurately providing additional cost information shows you understand how the fund operates and avoids a low value for money score.

Tip 4: Show how others will learn from your project

EECA funds demonstration and other types of EV projects to overcome first mover risk and influence others to follow.  Projects should clearly show how they will help other companies and organisations learn from their demonstration experience or influence individuals and companies to buy, lease or experience EVs.  Provide examples of how you will do this, for example giving presentations at an annual industry conference on the project and what you learned to make it easier for others to follow you.

Tip 5: Don’t leave it to the last minute                                                 

It really shows when applications are completed in a rush and doesn’t leave a good impression with the Panel.  Having a well-researched application with solid supporting documentation gives the Panel greater confidence in the applicant’s ability to deliver the project (one of the four assessment criteria). The Fund has a very strict closing deadline.  If the application is not submitted by the deadline it will not be considered.  There will be plenty of other good projects that have got their applications in on time.

Retyna’s Managing Director, Liz Yeaman, was previously the General Manager, Transport at EECA and led the set up and management of the Low Emission Vehicles Contestable Fund.  She has insights into how the Fund panel has assessed applications in all four previous rounds and how to craft an application to the Fund for the highest chance of success.  If you would like help with your project’s application to the Fund please get in contact.  liz@retyna.co.nz


Information and application forms for the Fund are on EECA’s website here: https://www.