Studying and advancing ultra-clean vehicles while evaluating their air quality benefits are the goals behind a new cooperative partnership announced today by the College of Engineering – Center for Environmental Research and Technology (CE-CERT) at the University of California, Riverside (UCR); Honda; The California Air Resources Board (CARB) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Research for the unique cooperative program will be conducted primarily at UCR. The specific goals of the cooperative research include:

— developing technologies and techniques for accurately measuring emissions at near-zero levels;
— understanding how extremely low emission vehicles perform on the road under “real world” conditions;
— assessing the air quality benefits and environmental impact of these vehicles.

“Some of the near-zero emission vehicles being developed today are so clean that their emissions are virtually undetectable by existing measurement equipment,” said Ben Knight, vice president, Honda Research & Development. “These amazing advancements in automotive technology are driving the need for cooperative technical research to assess the potential benefits of these vehicles. We believe this open, cooperative research coupled with the advancement of this emissions measuring technology will benefit society.”

UCR/CE-CERT has the broad research experience, scientific resources and overall capability to successfully put together this type of leading-edge program. They will bring objective, credible, sound science and engineering to lead this collaborative research program and advance the evaluation and understanding of near-zero emission vehicle environmental performance.

Ford and General Motors also are contributors to this research program. The cooperative program is open to additional partners from the automotive, fuel and instrumentation industries, as well as the academic and science communities.

Honda and CE-CERT, both recognized leaders in advanced automotive technology, partnered last year in a smart car-sharing research program called IntelliShare, which involved more than 200 participants using 15 Honda EV PLUS electric vehicles. The program is part of Honda’s international Intelligent Community Vehicle System (ICVS) which is examining consumer attitudes toward vehicle sharing.