“World premiere” - German agency presents CO2 car

By R744.com team, Sep 25, 2008, 00:00 2 minute reading

The German Environment Agency is presenting the first service vehicle equipped with a CO2 air conditioning system at the IAA 2008 expo in Hanover. After initial tests proved a higher fuel efficiency compared to R-134a systems, the car will be the first one to be on the road every day. (+ photo gallery)

“CO2-based air conditioning system (…) is ready for serial production and exemplary of climate protection by means of technical innovation”. With these words introduced Dr. Thomas Holzmann, Vice-President of the German Federal Environment Agency (UBA), the organisation’s first service vehicle equipped with CO2 MAC (see photo gallery below).

At a press conference held on Wednesday, 24 September, at the IAA Exhibition for commercial vehicles in Hannover, UBA presented results pointing at significant fuel savings compared to R134-based systems, on top of already known direct environmental benefits.

“The time to act is now: the automotive industry must implement this innovative and climate-friendly technology”, Holzmann went on.

Tests prove high efficiency

The VW Touran, presented in Hannover until 2 October, is a standard service vehicle used by UBA. The rationale of the project was to show the viability of a CO2 alternative to current R-134a systems in terms of performance and reliability. The vehicle has then been tested by OBRIST Engineering and the Vienna-based RTA and GSC. Parallel testing was also carried out by one of Europe’s biggest automobile clubs (ADAC). A third independent testing by the Technical University in Braunschweig is currently underway, with results expected before year end.

Results from first testing pointed at an overall high efficiency of CO2-based systems compared to R-134a. Retrofitting a standard car with an R744 MAC thus resulted in fuel savings of 45% at 28°C ambient temperature, and 14% at 35°C. (see attached article for more detailed test results).

First CO2 car on the road

After all completed tests, the CO2 car will be used as a regular service car by UBA, as a means to test long-term reliability. As the first of its kind, the UBA R744 car will hit the road to remain permanently in service. Holzmann was confident that CO2 will prove to be as efficient as initial test results suggested. More vehicles in UBA’s car fleet will be equipped with R744 MAC to validate first findings.

As a next step, UBA will publish all test results, and remind German carmakers united in the VDA to be true to their commitment issued one year ago. In September 2007, the VDA officially announced to use CO2 in next-generation vehicles (more details in the attached interview with Dr. Holzmann)


The IAA Commercial Vehicles 2008 is taking place in Hannover from 25th September to 2nd October. Organised every two years by the Association of German Automotive Manufacturers (VDA), the event focuses on the freight transport sector. Several suppliers and manufacturers, however, are also exhibiting their latest innovations for mobile air conditioning.

Founded in 1974, the UBA is Germany’s central federal authority on environmental matters. It provides scientific support to the Federal Government, implements environmental laws and informs the public about environmental protection.



By R744.com team (@r744)

Sep 25, 2008, 00:00

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