CATARC and UC Davis establish China-US ZEV Policy Lab to accelerate adoption of plug-in and fuel cell cars in US and in China
The University of California, Davis, and the China Automotive Technology and Research Center (CATARC) have entered a new agreement to work together to help speed the commercialization of plug-in and fuel cell electric cars in China. CATARC is China’s the administrative body that oversees and regulates many activities of the auto industry in China, the world’s largest new-car market, and in the US.
The five-year memorandum of understanding, signed on 6 September during the 2014 International Forum on Chinese Automotive Industry Development in Tianjin, China, establishes the China–US ZEV Policy Lab. Primary UC Davis partners are the Institute of Transportation Studies and the UC Davis Policy Institute for Energy, Environment and the Economy.
The collaboration is intended to help expand the global market for zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs). The function of the China–US ZEV Policy Lab is to be the expert research institution for US and China ZEV/new energy vehicle policies as well as the intellectual support body for each government’s policy design. The partners will cooperate in four specific areas:
New Energy Vehicle Policy Research: Topics will include, but not be limited to, credit trading policy; fiscal subsidies policy; tax incentive policy; transportation incentive policy; low-speed electric vehicle policy; vehicle environmental policy; and continuous evaluation of policy execution. The China–US ZEV Policy Lab will also discuss the launch of the International ZEV Alliance, exploring a global ZEV credit trading regime to increase the coordination and scale-up of global ZEV development.
New Energy Vehicle Survey and Evaluation: The research scope here includes, but is not limited to, user behavior surveys; commute surveys; charging habit surveys; market trend analysis; and vehicle performance evaluation. The Cooperative Partners are considering launching the “New Energy Passenger Vehicle Drivers Vehicle Use Behavior Survey” and other research projects soon.
Training of New Energy Vehicle Personnel: Both Cooperative Partners will send a number of senior visiting scholars to each other. Each party will provide the visiting scholars with conveniences in terms of office space and information resources. The trainees will be researchers in the ZEV/new energy vehicle policy area, who as visiting scholars will study relevant theories, methodologies, and models. The two parties will also cooperate to provide systematic training to personnel from new energy vehicle-related Chinese government agencies, manufacturers, and academic and research institutions.
Exchange of ZEV/New Energy Vehicle-Related Information: Both parties will regularly provide each other with information about updated ZEV/new energy vehicle policies and regulations, new standards and codes, new technology trends, new products and market sales volumes, charging infrastructure and other related information from their respective host countries.
The California Air Resources Board (ARB) and China’s National Development and Reform Commission, a major 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.
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. As a platform for Sino-US 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.—Gang Li, the department chief in charge of vehicles at NDRC
Signatories to the MOU include UC Davis Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi and CATARC Director Hang Zhao. Yunshi Wang, director of the China Center for Energy and Transportation at ITS-Davis, signed the agreement in Tianjin on behalf of ITS-Davis, the UC Davis Policy Institute, and the Plug-in Hybrid & Electric Vehicle Research Center at ITS-Davis.
The lab will be led by ITS-Davis’ Wang and CATARC’s executive in charge of new energy vehicles, Deputy Director Zhixin Wu. Co-chairing the lab’s advisory board are NDRC’s Li and ARB Deputy Executive Officer Alberto Ayala, who was present at the signing.
The China–US 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. 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.—Daniel Sperling, director of ITS-Davis
The creation of the China–US ZEV Policy Lab follows several recent measures announced by the Chinese government to fight the country’s hazardous smog and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In July, the central government mandated that electric cars make up at least 30% of government vehicle purchases by 2016. The Chinese government also recently announced new financial incentives for electric car purchases.