Europe: Daimler concedes to the use of the new refrigerant image

Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz luxury cars unit has succumbed to the pressure exerted by regulators and will start using the new air conditioning refrigerant that triggered in recent years a massive clash between the European Union and Germany.

The European Commission in 2014 even started the legal proceedings against Germany, which supported Daimler’s veto against the use of the new R1234yf refrigerant co-developed by US conglomerate Honeywell in partnership with Dupont. Daimler contended to using the former refrigerant – seen by the EU as a major environmental hazard – until it would finish development of its own in-house replacement. The main reason of discontent at Mercedes-Benz was the fact that Honeywell/Dupont’s version could become a cause of fire in front end collision scenarios – but now the automaker has decided to switch vehicles to R1234yf . To make sure they live up to the safety standards, the carmaker added it would add a “specific protective system” to the vehicles in question.

The German automaker was formerly using the R134a, a global warming agent found to be more than 1,000 times more potent than carbon dioxide, even though the EU standards will force automakers from 2017 onwards to use refrigerants with a global warming potential “only” up to 150 times that of carbon dioxide. But the automaker also announced it would move to another stage – equipping in Europe the S- and E-Class for the first time with CO2 air conditioning systems. The automaker conceded to the use of the R1234yf in the other vehicles as it moves to deploy the Co2 solution throughout the entire fleet after 2017.

Via Automotive News Europe