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ME Faculty Lead U.S.-China Clean Vehicle Consortium

Assanis at the CERC Signing Ceremony

Professor Dennis Assanis, founding director for the United States Clean Venicle Concortium, and Professor Minggao Ouyang, founding director for the People’s Republic of China, are signing the Joint Work Plan under the U.S.-China Clean Energy Research Center. Witnessing the signing are (standing from center to right) Director of China National Energy Administration Zhang Guobao, U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu, and Minister of China Science and Technology Wan Gang.

When it comes to energy, the United States and China have a great deal in common: The two nations are the world's largest energy producers, consumers and greenhouse-gas emitters. Likewise, both countries have rapidly growing clean energy sectors, and new clean energy technologies will help both nations meet future energy needs and climate challenges alike.

Now the United States and China are addressing these needs and challenges together, through the U-M-led Clean Vehicle Consortium (CVC), which is one of three U.S.-China Clean Energy Research Centers (CERC) established in 2010.

Dennis Assanis, ME professor and the Jon R. and Beverly S. Holt Professor of Engineering, has served as director of the U.S. CVC. Dr. Minggao Ouyang from Tsinghua University is leading the Chinese consortium.

The announcement that U-M would lead the U.S. consortium was made in September 2010 by U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu. Chu also announced last fall that West Virginia University would head a U.S. consortium for Advanced Coal Technology, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, a consortium for Energy Efficient Buildings.

"Our goal with the CVC is to contribute to dramatic, rather than incremental, improvements in technologies that have the potential to reduce vehicle dependence on oil and to improve fuel efficiency," explained Assanis.

To that end, joint research projects will focus on the following areas: energy systems analysis, technology roadmaps and policies, vehicle-grid interaction, vehicle electrification, advanced batteries and energy conversion, advanced biofuels and clean combustion, and advanced lightweight materials and structures.

Grants from the CERC and matching funds from U-M and Tsinghua University will support at least $50 million in research projects over five years.

The CVC also includes other universities, industry partners and national laboratories, such as Ohio State University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Sandia National Laboratory, Joint BioEnergy Institute, Oak Ridge National Laboratory as well as General Motors, Ford Motor Company, Cummins, Delphi and Toyota Motor Company, among many others.

During a visit to the United States by Chinese President Hu Jintao in January 2011, U.S. and Chinese CVC members signed Joint Work Plans that spell out the shared goals and objectives.

In October 2011, Assanis joined The State University of New York at Stony Brook as provost, senior vice president for academic affairs and vice president for Brookhaven affairs. Professor Huei Peng, who has served as the deputy director of the CVC, was appointed as the new CVC director.

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