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.
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.