U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and China’s Minister of Transport Yang Chuantang unveiled the U.S.-China Race to Zero Emissions (R2ZE) Challenge during the eighth U.S.-China Transportation Forum in Los Angeles.
The R2ZE Challenge is a collaborative and friendly competition that encourages cities and metropolitan transit districts in the U.S. and China to deploy innovative and advanced non-polluting Zero Emission Buses (ZEBs) in their transit systems.
“This challenge will hasten the development of new and emerging technologies that will move us away from fossil fuels and race us closer to our ultimate goal of zero emissions, while creating good jobs and economic growth in both the United States and China,” said Secretary Foxx. “This is a win for both of our nations, and an important milestone in our ongoing efforts to deepen technical cooperation and our ties together in support of green-energy transportation objectives.”
Secretary Foxx and Minister Yang Chuangtang also signed a Memorandum of Cooperation to further cement the transportation partnership between the two countries and their cooperation in other areas of mutual interest. These areas of interest include safety, innovation and technology, energy efficiency, urban congestion, and public-private partnerships.
The Race to Zero Emissions Challenge aims to reduce greenhouse gas and criteria emissions while fostering demand and innovation for zero emission heavy-duty vehicle technology. The R2ZE Challenge calls for a long-term commitment by transit agencies to expand green-energy transit fleets with interim targets and a finish line.
The targets are considered met when buses are deployed and remain in revenue service on an annual basis. Each target is based on the percentage of the operator’s bus fleet in revenue service that produces zero tailpipe emissions. In both the U.S. and China, the aspirational goal is to have at least 35% of a participating city’s bus fleet comprised of ZEBs by 2025.
The focus on the zero emission technologies stems from the proven benefits of these vehicles to the environment, business and fleet operations. These benefits include pollutant emission reduction, better fuel efficiency over conventional fuels, operational/maintenance cost savings, and market acceleration and job creation. For the purpose of this program, a “zero emissions bus” is a bus that operates in electric-only mode, whether the electricity is supplied by batteries, a fuel-cell or catenary.
The Challenge is open to all U.S. and China cities/metropolitan transit districts. All cities/metropolitan transit districts that voluntarily commit to and subsequently achieve the targets will be recognized as R2ZE Challenge participants. Participants will be able to use the R2ZE logo in promotional materials, attend the annual summit and be featured in U.S.-China press releases.
In addition, a competition will highlight specific categories of achievers, and each year, the U.S. and China will select and recognize cities and metropolitan transit districts in several categories. The U.S. and China will convene an annual conference that will bring together R2ZE participants to share progress made toward the R2ZE goals and lessons learned. The R2ZE participants and winners from the prior year will be announced and recognized during the event.
For more information and details on the challenge and to enroll, click here.