Nine vehicle models are or will be using the new R-1234yf refrigerant in North America this year, according to Ward Atkinson, Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) technical director, who provided this information as part of his annual State of the Industry report presented at the Sheraton New Orleans.
Those vehicle models are: Cadillac XTS (2013 and 2014), Chevrolet Spark EV (2014), Chrysler 300 (2014), Dodge Challenger (2014), Dodge Charger (2014), Honda Fit EV (2013 and 2014), Jeep Cherokee (2014), Range Rover (2014) and Range Rover Sport (2014).
Atkinson released this list of vehicles in his remarks about the R-1234yf refrigerant, which carmakers claim is more environmentally friendly than the older, R-134 a refrigerant.
German carmakers have opted not to use R-1234yf due to concerns about flammability. However, the SAE Cooperative Research Program has concluded that the risks posed by the refrigerant are “well below” those commonly accepted in a vehicle.
Atkinson noted that German carmakers not using the new refrigerant due to concerns about flammability are working on a refrigerant that they consider less flammable, R-744. In addition, he noted that another refrigerant under development, R-445A, is believed to be only mildly flammable.
Atkinson’s presentation was followed by Alan McAvoy, technical advisor at Chrysler’s Midwest Business Center, who gave a report on the 2014 Jeep Cherokee, the first Chrysler vehicle equipped with R-1234yf.