Reports that the leaking of a certain type of air-conditioning fluid used in electric vehicles may help cause global warming may be a bit of hot air. The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) is addressing stories saying that HFC-134a, also known as R-134a, may nullify the benefits of driving electric because of its potential effect on the ozone. The UCS debunks those stories.
Another German automaker has rejected the air conditioning refrigerant that's scheduled to be adopted by global automakers in 2017. Earlier this month, Volkswagen lined up with Daimler and BMW to support Daimler's findings from last year that the new refrigerant, called HFO-1234yf, can become flammable.
BMW has joined Daimler and, potentially, Audi in quitting an automotive industry research program studying a proposed new air conditioning refrigerant, the simply named HFO-1234yf. BMW disagrees with the test methods being used. "We do not want to say the test results are wrong, but we are not convinced the methods applied are sufficient to achieve a definitive conclusion that guarantees our high safety standards," a spokesman for BMW told Reuters.
There are some people who cool their cars down with ice, but General Motors thinks drivers like standard air conditioning. Since the refrigerant used in most automotive air conditioning systems is not good for the environment, GM is proud to announce it will use a better type of refrigerant (called HFO-1234yf) in its vehicles that it says only stays in the atmosphere for 11 days. The standard R-134a refrigerant, GM says, has an atmospheric life of more than 13 years. This is bad because, as Wiki
What the heck is HFO-1234yf? That's the name of a new refrigerant that's reportedly 350-times less damaging to the atmosphere than the current HFC-134a (or 1,1,1,2-Tetrafluoroethane, if you prefer). You may recall that today's refrigerant was actually put into widespread use back in the early 1990s as a replacement for the long-running R12 that was found to be collecting in and damaging our delicate ozone layer.