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GM to Introduce HFO-1234yf AC Refrigerant in 2013 US Models

General Motors Co. will introduce HFO-1234yf air-conditioning refrigerant in 2013 Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac models in the US. This could be the first passenger vehicle application of the new refrigerant in the US, which has 99.7% lower global warming potential (GWP) than the current refrigerant. (Earlier post.)

HFO-1234yf, supplied by Honeywell, breaks down faster in the atmosphere than the refrigerant currently used (R-134a). On average, R-134a refrigerant has an atmospheric life of more than 13 years, giving it a global warming potential (GWP) of more than 1,400. By comparison, the new refrigerant lingers in the atmosphere for 11 days and has a GWP of only 4.

The US Environmental Protection Agency awards regulatory credit for the improved environmental performance of the new refrigerant, which helps GM meet the overall requirements of the EPA’s new motor vehicle greenhouse gas regulations. The new regulation requires an overall 40% improvement in overall US fleet average vehicle fuel economy by 2016.

GM says that the use of HFO-1234yf will help GM vehicles significantly exceed their targets under the new regulations.

A two-year Cooperative Research Program conducted through SAE International to investigate the safety and environmental performance of HFO-1234yf for mobile air conditioning (MAC) systems concluded in 2009 that HFO-1234yf can be used as the global replacement refrigerant in future mobile air conditioning systems and it can be safely accommodated through established industry standards and practices for vehicle design, engineering, manufacturing, and service. The report was the third SAE report to evaluate the new refrigerant. (Earlier post.)



Good to see, refrigerants are one item that people got concerned about. Having a hole in the ozone layer was a serious issue, the people wanted a solution.


This solution does not seem to be impossible nor costly to apply.

Now that Lincoln will offer its MDK Hybrid at no extra cost, it seems that more and more NO cost first generation solutions are around the corner.

The world may stop associating solutions with with extra cost songs from providers/sellers.


Well dont forget the normal car likely had enough of a markup they were able to eat the extra cost to get more out.


w-2000. You may be on the right track.


There is an all too common perception among those that have never been in business for themselves, and have no apparent understanding of free enterprise, that sales prices can be set the same with the same abandon as they choose the style of their clothes.

If you are now trying to sell your house, and you don’t like what the realtor recommends or the “comps” indicate, just double the price, see how that works.

Do you not raise it, even a few grand, because you care about the poor buyer? How simple can you be?


A true compassionate citizen.


The on-going propaganda that nothing should be changed because it will cost more is very often without substance. However, it is normal that the first million units or so can have a higher price to pay for associated R&D and retooling etc. There are to reasons why mass produced electrified vehicles should cost more. In reality, they should cost less then equivalent more complex ICE vehicles. Batteries at over $1000/KWh do not make sense. With more mass production and competition cost will come down to under $300/Kw and as low as $100/Kwh by 2020/2025 driving down the cost of plain common sense highway capable EVs under $10,000 in 2005 dollars.


I agree, when you look at all the expensive parts in engines and transmissions, batteries should be easy. We have had 100 years of car parts coming down the cost curve because we built million of them each year. There is no reason the same can not occur for EVs.


I agree.

You two posters have realized what no large auto maker in the entire world, NOT ONE, has grasped.

Make lots and lots (3 million?, help me here) of batteries and the cost will come down well below the costs of the ICE power train and a Volt will cost $15000, an EV Camry $19K.

Insted they spend billions on morphing the looks and tweeking the ICEs of their cars.

All we have to do is wait until they read this.

Or wait until about 2020 when R&D (not just mass production) will bring the price down to NEAR ICE costs.

Henry Gibson

It is not necessary to use this expensive complicated refrigerant. Highly pure propane will work even better and will be far cheaper and does not require any change in the equipment now used or used in the past. Its use can also be more energy efficient.

Any danger to an occupant of the car because of the low flamability of propane is insignificant compared to the danger of the gasoline already in the fuel tank in far larger quantities and easier to ignite.

The danger from the ordinary operation of the vehicle and the use of cell phone by drivers is thousands of times or millions of times higher. The insurance on an automobile that uses propane air conditioning is less because of its very low statistical danger and the much lower costs of repairs. ..HG..

Henry Gibson

One type of propane is already used in all German and many other refrigerators for people homes with very high statistical safety. Look at the next stairway you use if you want perfect safety and don't use it or the elevator. Certainly don't get anywhere near an automobile, inside or out. ..HG..

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