Improving the efficiency and sustainability of Mobile Air Conditioning is key to reduce fuel consumption and reduce emissions, experts meeting in the European Parliament agreed this week. shecco took part to present the latest updates on CO2-based Mobile Air Conditioning.
Taking part in a public hearing on “Cars for the future” in the European Parliament, experts from Public and private sector, as well as NGOs exposed their views on ways to minimize the industry’s impact on global warming and yet remain competitive.
MAC and CO2 Technology in the spotlight
Marc Chasserot, from shecco, presented latest data on how testing of mobile air conditioning is being done in different parts of the world, as examples that the EU could follow.
In subsequent discussions, a broad consensus was reached on the need to set up a common EU testing procedure for Mobile Air Conditioning, in order to obtain a realistic estimation of its additional emissions and fuel consumption. This would be a first step to encourage more efficient and sustainable systems.
Concerning the choice of technology to replace the current HFC134a coolant, a comparison between CO2 (R744) and new chemical blends was presented and later discussed. “CO2 technology is the best insurance policy for car manufacturers against future legislation on Mobile Air Conditioning”, concluded Marc Chasserot.
EU targets for emissions reductions
The role of other specific technology, such as engine, tyres, lightweight materials, etc. was highlighted by different experts throughout the hearing.
However, the amount of emissions reductions necessary, and the way to achieve them, sparked vivid debates between environmentalists and industry representatives. According to Jos Dings, from the European Federation of Transport and Environment, the targets recently proposed by the European Parliament (120g/km by 2015) are “unacceptably weak”, considering “the poor progress made by 75% of all car brands in reducing emissions over the last 10 years”. He called for tougher emissions limits and a longer-term vision to enable the necessary developments. Industry representatives, however, considered the targets proposed already “challenging enough”.
On the other hand, Greg Archer, from the UK-based Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership, argued that “to achieve emissions reductions, the national governments need to provide incentives, establish labeling on fuel efficient vehicles and act on advertisement policy to change consumer’s attitudes”.
The Public Hearing “Cars for the future”, organized by the Liberal Party in European Parliament, took place on 4 July 2007 in Brussels. Speakers included representatives of leading automotive manufacturers and suppliers, including shecco.
Conclusions from the hearing will serve as a basis for the European Parliament to finalise its recommendations to the European Commission on which targets to set for car emissions reductions, on how to achieve them. Proposals for concrete legislation could follow next year.