Air conditioning was once considered a luxury option but in the past decade it has become almost universally standard equipment. New European Union rules could put a stop to that for drivers over there. In an attempt to reduce atmospheric emissions of hydrofluorocarbons, the rules would require a standard of qualifications for engineers working on air conditioning systems which may raise the cost of developing systems.

Tax policies in countries like Great Britain may also play a role in reducing the prevalence of automotive A/C. New car taxes are now in part based on CO2 emissions. Cars that achieve less than 100g/km of CO2 output are exempt from the vehicle excise duty and that prompted Volkswagen to revise the Polo Bluemotion between the announcement earlier this year and the actual sales launch. It was originally announced with CO2 output of 104g/km but it's now available with emissions of only 99g/km. Part of that reduction came from eliminating standard A/C and other features. The original version is available and has a tax of £50 a year.

[Source: AutoExpress]


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