China and UC Davis partner to put Zero Emission Vehicles on a faster track

In a landmark international collaboration on clean vehicle adoption, the University of California, Davis, and the China Automotive Technology and Research Center will work together to help speed the commercialization of plug-in and fuel cell electric cars in China and the U.S. under an agreement signed Sept. 6 in Tianjin, China.

The five-year memorandum of understanding establishes the China–U.S. ZEV Policy Lab, a partnership between UC Davis, the world’s leading university on sustainable transportation, and CATARC, the administrative body that oversees and regulates many activities of the auto industry in China, the world’s largest new-car market. Primary UC Davis partners are the Institute of Transportation Studies and the UC Davis Policy Institute for Energy, Environment and the Economy.

The California Air Resources Board, the world’s leader on clean vehicle policies, and the National Development and Reform Commission, a major Chinese government agency, have supported the agreement and will co-chair the new entity’s advisory board. Major international and Chinese automotive and energy companies will also be invited to participate.

The memorandum of understanding was signed during the 2014 International Forum on Chinese Automotive Industry Development.

“Given the great importance the Chinese government now attaches to the development and commercialization of new energy vehicles, the establishment of the Policy Lab is extremely timely,” Gang Li, the department chief in charge of vehicles at NDRC said at the ceremony. “As a platform for Sino-U.S. exchanges and cooperation in the field of new energy vehicle policies, I believe that the Policy Lab will play an important role in promoting EV-related policy design and EV development in both countries.”

The collaboration will help expand the global market for zero-emission vehicles, or ZEVs, by providing intellectual support for design of ZEV policies and analysis of consumer markets, including demand for charging stations, different types of ZEV technologies, and effectiveness of incentives. The China–U.S. ZEV Policy Lab will strengthen cooperation between California, the current leader in ZEV sales and the United States’ largest new-car market, and China, the global leader in new-car sales.

“This agreement is an important milestone in coordinating global efforts to accelerate clean vehicle commercialization,” said Daniel Sperling, director of ITS-Davis. “We are honored to join forces with CATARC, whose important leadership in this area will allow California, the United States and China to promote best practices and policy initiatives that will bring new energy vehicles to market not only in China and the United States, but also around the world.”

In addition to policy research and studies of consumer behavior, the China–U.S. ZEV Policy Lab will train advanced vehicle researchers and leaders in California and China, inform Chinese regional and central government officials on California’s ZEV and related vehicle policies, and exchange information between California and China regarding lessons learned.

Read more:

Top press coverage: