As part of its goal of becoming the world’s most environmentally sustainable carmaker by 2018,Volkswagen used the Geneva International Motor Show to announce its entry into CO2 technology.
Volkswagen says that CO2 is ideal for use in specially designed automotive air conditioning systems and the technology will be rolled out progressively over its entire vehicle fleet.
CO2 had originally been the German car industry’s refrigerant of choice to replace R134a in car air conditioning systems in compliance with the European Commission’s Mac Directive. Following the development of R1234yf, the German car manufacturers initially appeared to fall in line with the rest of the world in backing this new gas. German car manufacturers association the VDA said at the time, “It is very unlikely that investigation of natural and chemical refrigerants can be done in parallel, and impossible for the Germans or Europeans to develop a solution of their own, in view of the state of the global market.
“We need agreement on a worldwide standard to maintain the competitiveness of the European automotive industry. Separate individual solutions are not an option,” said the then VDA president Matthias Wissmann.
In September 2012, Daimler raised concerns about the safety of the use of 1234yf in their vehicles following tests carried out with the new refrigerant. It subsequently insisted that it would continue using R134a,in direct contravention of the Mac Directive, until it had perfected systems using CO2.