GERMANY: The German car manufacturers' association, VDA, has called on the EU for more time to find a replacement for R134a in car air conditioning systems.
Talking to the German website Auto Motor and Sport
, Ulrich Eichhorn, the VDA's European technical and environmental manager, called for at least another six-month moratorium to come up with a low GWP solution to comply with the MAC directive.
The European car industry had already been granted a moratorium on the directive to January 1, 2013, after delays in supplies of the industry's preferred option, the new HFO R1234yf. Despite being cleared by safety organisations, recent crash tests by Daimler prompted the German luxury car manufacturer to declare it would not use the new refrigerant on the grounds of its flammability.
Admitting that Daimler's results had surprised all the experts, Ulrich Eichhorn called for a delay until at least the middle of next year to 'quantify the risks further and to develop appropriate countermeasures'.
He told Auto Motor and Sport
that the industry needed to see the whether air conditioning could be further developed to prevent the escape of the refrigerant or change to a different refrigerant.
is aware that the chemical industry does have potential alternatives to R1234yf, although some way away from being available in production quantities, but a viable solution may also require the European Commission to raise the MAC directive's 150 GWP maximum to avoid problems of flammability.