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Wednesday, June 7, 2017

California and China team up to push for millions more zero-emission vehicles

New working group established to expand cooperation

BEIJING- Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. and California Air
Resources Board (CARB) Chair Mary D. Nichols met today with
officials of China’s leading automakers and battery manufacturers
in an effort to expand cooperation and accelerate deployment of
zero-emission cars, trucks and buses. The meeting is part of
week-long trip to Chengdu, Nanjing and Beijing to expand
California’s close climate ties to China and reaffirm the
commitment of subnational governments to reduce greenhouse gas

“In order to achieve California’s climate goals, we need more
electric cars and more hydrogen fuel cell cars that are charged
with renewable energy,” said Governor Brown. “We welcome any
Chinese technology that will help us achieve these goals. We have
a very tall hill to climb and we want to introduce clean
technologies as quickly as possible. We need a great leap

At the close of the meeting, Governor Brown and Chair Nichols
agreed to establish a new working group through the China-US ZEV
Policy Lab at UC Davis to expand cooperation with Chinese
zero-emission vehicle and battery technology companies. The lab
is a unique partnership established in 2014 between UC Davis
Institute of Transportation Studies and the China Automotive
Technology and Research Center (CATARC), both leaders in
zero-emission technology and policy.

“California and China have both seen what unchecked emissions can
do to public health, the environment and our economies,” said
Nichols.  “Building on these shared concerns and the progress we
both have made in zero-emission and battery technology, we can
work as partners to bring tens of millions of the cleanest
possible vehicles to market over the next decade and a half.”

China and California are leaders in the rapidly growing market
for zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs), which this year surpassed two
million cars, trucks and buses worldwide. China accounts for
about 40 percent of the global market while California is
responsible for more than 50 percent of sales in the United
States. China’s production of zero-emission vehicles has
skyrocketed over the past two years.

Today’s meeting included officials from Chinese automakers such
as BYD, Beijing Auto Group, Great Wall, Geely, Dongfeng Xiao
Kang, Yangtze Motors and a half dozen other vehicle and battery
companies. Discussions with the companies centered on plans for
developing new models of zero-emission vehicles and support
needed to enter the U.S. market.

Also participating in the meeting was Matt Petersen, chief
sustainability officer for the city of Los Angeles, who
emphasized the important role local governments play in
transportation electrification and affirmed the city’s commitment
to a zero-emission future. “In Los Angeles, we want to make
electric cars as common as movie stars,” said Peterson.

Following the meeting, Chair Nichols gave a presentation on
California’s ZEV mandate and complementary policies to an
audience of Chinese automakers and government officials during a
workshop hosted by CATARC.

In California, the transportation sector is responsible for
nearly 40 percent of greenhouse gas emissions and is also by far
the largest source of smog-causing pollution and fine particle
pollution. With the nation’s largest market for cars and
light-duty trucks, California pioneered regulations to clean up
emissions, including a zero-emission vehicle initiative that
dates back to 1990.

Today, some 37 different battery-powered, plug-in hybrid, and
fuel cell electric vehicle models are available in California. As
of March, California had more than 280,000 zero-emission vehicles
on the roads, and the Governor has set a goal of putting 1.5
million ZEVs on the roads by 2025 and 4-5 million by 2030.

California’s market has shown strong growth recently, with ZEVs
accounting for more than 10 percent of new vehicles in 16
California cities in 2016, according to a recent analysis by the
International Council on Clean Transportation.  In the first
quarter of 2017, ZEVs accounted for nearly 5 percent of new car
sales statewide.

China, which faces well-documented air quality challenges, is
likewise strongly committed to deploying zero-emission vehicles,
or “new energy vehicles.” China is expected to announce a ZEV
credit policy this year modeled after California’s program
resulting from collaborative efforts led by the China-US ZEV
Policy Lab.

Since 2014, ZEV sales in China have increased nearly sevenfold to
509,000 vehicles in 2016, making China the largest market and
strongest driver of global market growth. A national “road map”
for the country’s auto market aims for ZEVs to account for at
least 20 percent of total vehicle sales by 2025, or about 7
million vehicles a year.

The meeting with Chinese automakers and battery manufacturers is
part of a broader effort to expand California cooperation and
coordination with China on low-carbon technologies, environmental
protection and clean energy development.

More news and developments from the fourth day of Governor
Brown’s China trip can be found here:


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