China-U.S. ZEV Policy Lab

Established through a five-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed in China in September 2014, the China-U.S. ZEV Policy Lab represents a global milestone in international collaboration on clean vehicles development. The MOU focuses on joint research and cooperation between UC Davis and the China Automotive Technology and Research Center (CATARC), the administrative body that oversees and regulates many activities of the auto industry in China.

The collaboration will help expand the global market for zero emission vehicles (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.

The collaboration represents a unique partnership between the UC Davis Institute of Transportation Studies (ITS-Davis) and CATARC, both leaders in ZEV technology and policy, and reflects their long history of cooperation and information exchange. The primary partners to the MOU are ITS-Davis, the UC Davis Policy Institute for Energy, Environment and the Economy, and CATARC. Two ITS-Davis centers — the China Center for Energy and Transportation (C-CET) and the Plug-In Hybrid & Electric Vehicle (PH&EV) Research Center — play integral roles.

C-CET Director Yunshi Wang co-directs the U.S.-China ZEV Policy Lab with Zhixin Wu, Deputy Director of CATARC. The ZEV Policy Lab advisory board is co-chaired by representatives of 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. Major international and Chinese automotive and energy companies are also participating as sponsors.

The China-U.S. ZEV Policy Lab is pursuing four specific activities in collaboration:

  1. Conduct joint policy research, share best practices and explore potential ZEV policy collaboration and implementation.
  2. Conduct consumer behavior studies. UC Davis is a leader in consumer response to electric and other alternative fuel vehicles. This collaboration will result in the first major studies of Chinese consumer response to advanced energy vehicles.
  3. Train advanced vehicle researchers and leaders in California and China.
  4. 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.