DuPont-1234yfGERMANY: Despite strong German opposition to the new car air conditioning refrigerant R1234yf, around 500,000 cars have already been registered in the country with the new gas.

Figures showing that 458,532 new vehicles were registered and using the new refrigerant between January 2013 and June 2015, were revealed by the German government in answer to questions from the Left Party (Die Linke).

In response, the German government repeated previous statements that, backed by the results of numerous independent and industry studies, it sees no significant risks in using the new refrigerant.

Since January 2013, all new types of vehicle registered and marketed in the EU have to contain an air conditioning refrigerant with a GWP under 150. This effectively bans the use of industry standard refrigerant R134a, leaving the new “mildly flammable” HFO R1234yf as the only currently available choice.

Despite this, Mercedes manufacturer Daimler has refused to adopt the new refrigerant due to safety fears and continues to use R134a, in direct contravention of the MAC directive. This has left the German government, on one side, facing European Commission infringement proceedings and, on the other, severe criticism from the German media backing the stance of Daimler.

While Mercedes and VW are conspicuously absent from the list released by the government, a total of 44 manufacturers and 85 different car models, including those of fellow German car manufacturers BMW and Opel, are listed. Refrigerant manufacturer DuPont has previously predicted that, globally, more than 7 million cars using the new refrigerant are expected to be on the road by the end of this year. 

Both Mercedes and VW have pinned their future on CO2 and have indicated that vehicles could be available as early as next year.

Related stories:

EC rejects petition to ban R1234yf – December 14, 2014
BELGIUM: A petition calling for a ban on the use of “dangerous substance” R1234yf in vehicle air conditioning systems has been rejected by the European parliament. Read more…