General Motors said it was the first auto manufacturer to use a new greenhouse gas-friendly air-conditioning refrigerant, which will be incorporated in 2013 Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac models in the U.S
The new refrigerant, (HFO-1234yf) supplied by Honeywell, breaks down faster in the atmosphere than the refrigerant currently used (R-134a). R-134a refrigerant has an atmospheric life of more than 13 years on average, giving it a global warming potential (GWP) of over 1,400, according to GM.
GWP is a value used to compare different greenhouse gases that trap heat in the atmosphere. The base measurement for GWP is relative to that of carbon dioxide.
The refrigerant HFO-1234yf is said to linger in the atmosphere for just 11 days and has a GWP of only 4.
GM said the new refrigerant meets and exceeds the overall requirements of the EPA's new motor vehicle greenhouse gas regulations, which requires an overall 40% improvement in overall U.S. fleet average vehicle fuel economy by 2016.