Cooling Cars in a Warming World: Industry Looks for Green AC Alternatives


The most commonly used cooling agent in car air conditioners will be banned by the European Union in 2011, and California may be considering a similar ban. The phase-out of the refrigerant HFC-134a, also called tetrafluoroethane, has carmakers and the air conditioning industry looking for non-greenhouse gas alternatives that can be used throughout the world’s largest car market. The annual Mobile Air Conditioners Summit met in Austria earlier this month, bringing together industry leaders, the European Commission, and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to examine safe alternatives for cooling the world’s cars.Attendants of the summit agreed that the worldwide 20% leakage level of the refrigerant HFC-134a was unacceptable. On display were several models of BMW, Volkswagen, and Audis outfitted with CO2 air conditioning systems. The International Seminar on Natural Refrigerants also took place recently in Tokyo, while Honeywell and DuPont recently announced the development of low global warming potential refrigerants for cars. :: MAC Summt via MobileMag (thanks to Jaques for the tip)