State of play: Refrigerants used in mobile air condition systems (MAC) Published on: 23/01/2014, Last update: 24/06/2015
Since 1 January 2011, air conditioning systems of new types of vehicles must be filled with a refrigerant with a low impact on the climate (in line with the EU's "MAC" Directive 2006/40/EC on mobile air conditioning).
Fluorinated greenhouse gases with a global warming potential (GWP) higher than 150 CO2 GWP can no longer be used in mobile air climate (MAC) systems.
Car manufacturers are free to choose a refrigerant/system as long as it fulfils the obligation of the directive. In 2009, the car manufacturers chose the new refrigerant HFO 1234yf to fulfil this requirement due to its low GWP.
The currently used Refrigerant R134a, with a GWP of 1300, is de facto banned in newly type-approved vehicles (new models). From 1 January 2017, this ban will be extended to all new vehicles.
Refrigerant HFO 1234yf was chosen by industry to be used on MAC to fulfil the obligations of this directive. However, in light of the exceptional circumstances concerning problems encountered by industry in supplying this gas and exclusively with respect to this aspect, the Commission accepted to refrain from launching infringement procedures in cases where vehicle production would continue to be done with the gas R134a until 31 December 2012.