India And California Partners For Research And Innovation In Zero-Emission Vehicles

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India and California have entered into a partnership for research and innovation in zero-emission vehicles. This collaboration will help India develop its EV industry and address climate risk.

California is home to the most advanced zero-emission vehicle (ZEV), policies in the world. California has a goal to achieve 100% ZEVs by 2035. The collaboration also saw the establishment of a new India ZEV Research Centre by the University of California’s Davis Institute of Transportation Studies.

California-India ZEV Policy is a programme that supports ZEV adoption in India. It also encourages the development of an EV sector in India. This will contribute to India’s industrial growth.

It would address policy, technology as well as investment strategies for the ZEV transition. It would also identify opportunities for India as a strategic leader in the global ZEV transition.

Officials said that the California-India ZEV Partnership was announced in Pittsburgh last week at the Clean Energy Ministerial. It was attended by Union Science and Technology Minister, Jitender Singh. It offers a unique opportunity for sub-national policy design to facilitate vehicle electrification and, importantly, harness the state’s role as a major laboratory for innovation in both the global south and the countries.

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“While ZEV policies have been implemented in various parts of the world, the State of California is probably the only regional government to have the most comprehensive and oldest ZEV policy ecosystem,” said Deputy Chief of Mission, Indian Embassy, Washington, D.C. Sripriya Ranganathan in Pittsburgh while discussing on ‘Accelerating ZEV Transitions: California-India Policy Cooperation’.

“The learnings from the California experience along with other regions would offer India an opportunity to consider a mix of policies that would support the uptake of ZEVs while simultaneously spurring the development of a nascent industry that can bring with it important industrial growth,” she said.

Ranganathan believes that the California-India ZEV policy will be a timely step in strengthening bilateral cooperation. She stated that it will increase the information and research available to India’s transportation decarbonisation process, which will allow for global engagement of policymakers in well-planned efforts.

She said that California’s role as a state government, as well as collaboration with potential Indian states, in addition to the Government of India can offer a unique opportunity for sub-national policy design to be leveraged as a key lever to vehicle electrification targets and, more importantly, to harness the role of states to become key laboratories of innovation.

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There already exists a strong precedent for a California-India ZEV Policy Collaboration with similar efforts in other sectors having been done in the past, with collaborations on air quality and electricity sector reforms to name a few,” she noted.

“As India prepares to host both the Clean Energy Ministerial and the G20 next year in 2023, this platform presents us a unique opportunity to jointly accelerate ZEV transitions in developing countries including India, and continue to build on our commitment to addressing climate risks in the coming year,” Ranganathan said.

According to UC Davis, the India Center for Energy and Transportation of India has pioneered innovations in public procurement to encourage EV adoption in public transport and electrification of last-mile passenger and freight mobility within cities.

“While the two regions have unique differences, such as India’s large portfolio of two and three-wheelers, there are also common challenges such as electrification of hard-to-abate segments including medium and heavy-duty trucks,” it said.

The university stated that a California-India ZEV partnership offers a unique opportunity for sub-national policy design as an instrument for vehicle electrification. It also harnesses the power of states as key laboratories of innovation in both the countries and the global south.

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California-India ZEV Policy Programme will, among other things, showcase best practices in EV Adoption from the country on International Platforms and open strategic dialogues on international Climate Finance for a ZEV Transition.

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