Volkswagen plans to introduce carbon dioxide-based air conditioning systems throughout its cars instead of the Honeywell refrigerant HFO-1234yf, which was created to meet tougher environmental standards.

Daimler has already rejected the new Honeywell refrigerant in a row that has also embroiled the European Commission. Volkswagen's decision is sure to provoke further controversy. 

VW said that the CO2 technology will be rolled out progressively over its entire vehicle fleet and will “further contribute towards climate protection”. 

The company said that CO2 as a refrigerant – also known as R744 – is a naturally occurring gas with significantly lower greenhouse gas effects than conventional refrigerants, and it is ideal for use in specially designed automotive air conditioning systems. 

With a GWP (Global Warming Potential) value of 1, it is 99.3 per cent below the EU specified GWP limit of 150.

"Over the course of more than two decades in development, CO2-based automobile air-conditioning systems have experienced a number of performance, cost, safety and environmental issues that have made them a less attractive alternative to automakers globally," Honeywell said in a statement, after Daimler also decided to develop a new CO2-based A/C system.

See also: ANALYSIS: Low-CO2 refrigerant produces heated dispute

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