China Automotive Technology and Research Center

China Automotive Technology and Research Center

During the 2014 International Forum on Chinese Automotive Industry Development, the China Automotive Technology and Research Center and the University of California, Davis established a partnership for Zero emission Vehicles.

Both sides signed a memorandum of understanding with the goal to speed the commercialization of plug-in and fuel cell electric cars in China and the U.S.

"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 agreement was supported by the California Air Resources Board in U.S. and the National Development and Reform Commission in China, which will co-chair the new entity’s advisory board.

In later stages, the partnership will be expanded when other companies from the automotive and energy sectors join.

According to the press release, the partners expect that such collaboration will help expand the global market for zero-emission vehicles, 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."

Another area of collaboration will be researcher and leader training.

Creation of the China–U.S. ZEV Policy Lab, follows the set of incentives for electric cars announced in China in recent months.  The central government already mandated in July that at least 30% of new cars purchased for government use must be electric.

Gang Li, the department chief in charge of vehicles at NDRC commented at the ceremony:

“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-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.”

Daniel Sperling, director of ITS-Davis stated:

“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.”

ARB Chairman Mary Nichols, remarked on the new initiative:

"We have been working with China on air and climate issues under a unique MOU signed by Gov. Jerry Brown and NDRC Vice Chairman Xie Zhenhua. We commend China for its commitment to further reduce emissions by greatly expanding the purchase of battery electric and fuel cell powered vehicles."

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