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News - HFO 1234yf latest news

Last updated 01/02/2013 12:34 PM Article Ref: 2064

HFO 1234yf latest news

The deadline set by the European Commission stating that, up to the 31st December 2012 car manufacturers could still use R134a in new type-approved vehicles due to lack of availability of the new refrigerant, has now passed. Any new type-approved vehicles will now have to contain HFO 1234yf refrigerant at the point of manufacture, so these vehicles will start to become more common place on the UK roads.

In response to this new need, Autoclimate can now supply HFO 1234yf refrigerant in 5kg cylinders as well as a full complement of 1234yf A/C equipment.

The following questions and answers will hopefully help explain a bit more about the current situation.

So is HFO 1234yf now readily available?

Manufacturers of HFO 1234yf (Honeywell and DuPont) have already been working on production and their initial target of quarter 4 2012 to begin production was met. UK handlers of the refrigerant have also been appointed and supplies are being distributed to selected companies. Autoclimate, being a large automotive aftermarket R134a distributor, have reached an agreement to stock HFO 1234yf and can now supply.

What happens if after the deadline car manufacturers continue to use R134a in the production of their cars?

The directive set by the European Commission is clear; any new type-approved vehicles from January 1st 2013 must contain HFO 1234yf. Those cars that already received type-approval before the cut-off date and are in production may continue to use R134a. The European Commission will begin to start infringement procedures against those manufacturers who don’t follow the directive. This will be monitored and enforced by authorities, in the member states that are responsible for type-approval, certification of production and market surveillance.


What will happen to vehicles that were type approved after the original cut-off date (January 2011) but filled with R134a due to lack of refrigerant availability? Will they need retro-fitting?

The decision made by the commission states that “new types of vehicles can only be type-approved if they are fitted with MAC systems that are compatible with Directive 200/40/EC. However, as long as the refrigerant HFO 1234yf is not available, and with a definitive limitation on 31 December 2012, manufacturers may continue to use the old refrigerant (R134a) to fill new type-approved production vehicles, when this is technically possible.”

There are no retrofitting obligations.

(For more information on this section of the story please click here)

So do I need an HFO 1234yf refrigerant management station now?

Franchised dealers, as part of their VM imposed dealer standards, will be the first market sector to require HFO 1234yf machines with a number having already purchased in preparation. Also, a number of vehicle manufacturers have already approved equipment and are beginning to add it into their equipment programmes.

Autoclimate can offer both the AC1234-7 and AC1234-8 machines which are VDA approved* and carry endorsements from a number of manufacturers. These machines are available now!

Accident repair centres and other independent garages are advised to still invest in R134a equipment, this will earn you the most revenue now and will represent your biggest volume of A/C work**. However if it is necessary, we can supply an HFO 1234yf machine if required.

Will technicians need additional training?

The characteristics of HFO 1234yf are very similar to that of R134a. In particular temperature and pressure properties, so technicians already trained in the use of R134a should have no difficulties with HFO 1234yf. All that is needed is additional training on the specific equipment.  

How can I purchase a bottle of HFO 1234yf and is the purchasing process different to that of R134a?

Autoclimate can supply HFO 1234yf in a 5kg returnable cylinder, simply phone on 0800 808 5153 and your order will be processed and delivered to you. The process is the same as ordering a bottle or R134a, simple and with great service when ordering off Autoclimate.


*When a refrigerant identifier is fitted

** Estimated that in 2019 60% of vehicle A/C parc will still be R134a.

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