R1234yf strikes out with German motorists

By Simon Burkel, Nov 19, 2013, 16:55 3 minute reading

According to an online survey among 3000 German car drivers by the green automobile club (ökologischer Verkehrsclubs VCD), German motorists are against the new refrigerant R1234yf. Users would be willing to pay a price premium for safe and environmentally friendly alternatives.

2/3 of respondents woul not buy a car using R1234yf
The German ökologischer Verkehrsclubs VCD, a green automobile club, conducted an online survey on mobile air conditioning in which two thirds of the  ~3000 respondents stated that they would under no circumstances buy a car with the refrigerant R1234yf, if an alternative refrigerant were available instead. Gregor Kolbe, VCD-project manager commented on the results: “The survey results support the VCD’s demand not to use R1234yf. Although today the refrigerant is only used in a few cars, the votes in the survey clearly show that the dangerous refrigerant should not be used. Alternatives are well known and have to  be made ready for series production as soon as possible”.
90% of users value safe and environmentally friendly alternative refrigerants
The VCD also asked in the survey if motorists would choose a mobile air conditioning (MAC) system using an environmentally friendly and non flammable refrigerant when making a decision to purchase a new car, even if the environmentally and safe system were more expensive than a conventional system. The results reveal that 90% of the respondents would pay a price premium for environmentally friendly and non flammable refrigerants. Around 40% of the respondents stated they would even accept a price premium of up to €200. 
For car manufacturers, like Daimler, that have already commited to using CO2, the survey results should bolster their decision not to use R1234yf. It seems as if the car manufacturer has the support of buyers. Now what is needed is action. 
CO2 offers the solution users are asking for
An environmentally friendly and safe alternative to R1234yf is the natural refrigerant CO2. CO2 MAC systems are ready to go into production and are already used in city buses. Given the number of years that have passed since the original decision was taken to switch to CO2 MAC, the air conditiong systems would need to be redesigned and adapted to toady’s vehicles, although the additional cost of CO2 systems compared to todays systems has been calculated as negligible. According to the VCD, the additional cost for a medium-sized car in series production would be below €50. In addition, CO2 MAC systems work more efficiently than conventional systems. 
VCD calls on politicians to provide consumers with efficieny information for MAC systems
In light of the fact that using a car’s air conditioning system increases fuel consumtion, many drivers are also asking for OEMs to provide information on the increased fuel consumption associated with MAC use. Gregor Kolbe, understands the problem: “Today, the customer doesn’t know if an efficient MAC system is installed in an efficient car, or if yesterday’s technology is used. Politicians are called to react and to add electrical power consumption, such as from air conditioning units, to the official consumption measurements”.
Take the survey
The link to survey is still open on the VCD website (in German only): http://www.vcd.org/umfrage-autoklimaanlage.html


By Simon Burkel

Nov 19, 2013, 16:55

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