A new refrigerant developed by Honeywell and Dupont, HFO-1234yf, will be required by law to replace R-134a, but Volkswagen is rejecting this and developing its own carbon dioxide air conditioning system.
The new refrigerant, HFO-1234yf, is supposed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by something like 99.7%. In spite of a new law in the EU requiring that all new vehicles, starting in 2017, will be required to change over to the new refrigerant, some automakers have backed out of the development program.
Most notably, Daimler and BMW found that, under certain circumstances, the new refrigerant was flammable. Audi and Volkswagen have also balked at the new law and the flammability concerns and have decided to develop their own carbon dioxide air conditioning system.
It seems to me that the EU Industry Commissioner Antonio Tajani must be in someone’s pocket, considering that he’s unwilling to listen to the concerns of the automakers, four so far, that have rejected the new law and asked for an extension.
Honeywell and Dupont stand to profit in a big way if the new law gives them a monopoly. Volkswagen’s approaching the greenhouse gas problem differently and is looking to develop carbon dioxide air conditioning systems that are neither flammable nor poisonous.
“Since there was some information from Germany there was a problem, I am obliged to ask for information, but it’s not giving them time. I am not weak,” said Tajani in a recent interview.
Something tells me there is more to this story than is being told. Will a possible multi-billion dollar monopoly sweep the fair market and consumer concerns under the carpet?