Division of Technology, Industry and Economics


In 2000, the worldwide automotive fleet numbered some 720 million vehicles, half of which equipped with mobile air conditioning (MAC), and this percentage is still growing.

Traditionally MAC systems have relied on CFC refrigerants, which are being phased out worldwide because they deplete the ozone layer. HFC-134a, the major replacement of CFCs for MACs, contributes to climate change and is now controlled under the Kyoto Protocol. Recognizing this inter-relationship, the DTIE OzonAction Branch is helping developing countries make informed decisions that protect the ozone layer and at the same time safeguard the climate system through improved fuel efficiency.

With key government, industry and academic partners, UNEP is implementing the following cluster of projects.

Technology cooperation workshops for next generation MAC systems

NEP DTIE's OzonAction Branch co-organised an international Workshop on Technology Cooperation for Next-Generation MAC from 3-4 March 2005, in New Delhi, India. Key specialists from industry, academia, and government from India and other countries participated to discuss technical and policy issues related to advanced MAC systems, and Dr. Pachauri gave the keynote speech.

The event was successful and paved the way for the next project on Policy Assessment study of potential MAC policy benefits (see below).

Financial support for this event came from the Government of Finland, USEPA, and UNDP, with additional support provided of the Indian Government and TERI.

The OzonAction Branch is working with China SEPA, the MAC Association of China, USEPA, SAE and the European Commission to organise a similiar workshop in China in 2007.

Assessment studies of MAC technology and policy alternatives

Assessment study of MAC technology and policy alternatives of potential benefits for India. MoU was signed in September, should be completed within about 6 months.

TERI has collected Indian MAC data and has provided them to NREL to run a model. We are in touch with EPA and TERI to try to make sure that enough India-specific data gets collected.

Financial support for the study was provided by the Government of Finland and USEPA.

Eco-MAC project

UNEP DTIE in cooperation with USEPA is developing and testing the energy efficiency of an improved HFC-134a MAC system ("I-MAC") on small vehicles that already achieve the highest fuel efficiency, and compare the test results with a CO2 MAC system ("B-Cool") vehicle which is being developed under funding from the European Commission and European vehicle manufacturers and suppliers.

The basis for comparison will be the Total Equivalent Warming Impact (TEWI) concept and the Life Cycle Climate Performance (LCCP) approach. This project will help resolve the scientific and technical debate on which refrigerant, either HFC-134a or CO2, currently has the better environmental performance in small, fuel-efficient vehicles. The HFC-134a technology development will be led and implemented by MAC technology partners, primarily Fiat Research Centre, General Motors and Delphi.

UNEP will provide a neutral, expert and broad-based platform for testing and evaluating the two competing technologies. Sustainability of the project will ultimately be achieved by the commercial adoption of the most-fuel efficient and environmentally-performing technology by the automotive and automotive parts industries worldwide. UNEP will help achieve this through the presentation of balanced technical information about the different MAC technologies. In this period of historic high oil prices, the fuel-efficiency advantages of the new MAC systems will be of significant interest to the companies in terms of the marketability of fuel-efficient automobiles to consumers.