As most operators and suppliers are probably aware, R134a refrigerant prices have risen sharply over the past 12 months and its looking likely to keep rising.
The Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation (IAAF), which represents the gas suppliers, has given the following statement:
“The revised F-Gas regulation, which came into force in January 2015 is now beginning to have an impact on the UK marketplace.
The aim of the regulation is to reduce F-Gas emissions by two thirds and to encourage the use of viable and more climate-friendly alternatives. As a result, the regulation introduced a quota system to limit and control the amount of HFCs that can be placed on the market in all applications. For the aftermarket, this particularly impacts the supply of 134a gas, used as the refrigerant in mobile air conditioning units (MACs) on cars, LVs and CVs. From 1 January 2018, this phase down represents 63% of 2015 levels and will decrease down to 45% in 2021.”
Therefore, R134a is increasingly in short supply and as with everything in business, if its in short supply the prices will only increase.
As the price of R134a continues to increase it will lead to the introduction of low HFC replacement refrigerants such as 1234yf, which is used today in newly type-approved vehicles.
Many commercial vehicle manufacturers will have surely taken note of how the market is changing and will start introducing the newer 1234yf into their production lines.
Most HGV and Bus & Coaches are still using R134a, but it’s only a matter of time before the uptake of 1234yf due to the environmental risks and costs.
Commercial repair workshops may soon require new A/C service units for the 1234yf refrigerant and need look no further than Autoctraft for the complete package.
We offer on-site IMI certificated training for both R134a and 1234yf. In fact, we are one of a few in the UK that offers an IMI certificated Safety & Awareness Assessment course for the 1234yf refrigerant.
At Autocraft Equipment we have pre-empted the forthcoming changes and already cater for the supply of equipment, training and servicing for all business types. Ranging from the mobile A/C unit in a van, the dealer level approved units right up to assembly line equipment used by vehicle manufacturers.
What should operators be looking out for with A/C equipment?
Operators should be sure to get good solid advice about any equipment they are considering before they make a purchase. There are many charlatan’s out there waiting to take your money and sell inferior products or worse still fake products. As a member of the GEA (Garage Equipment Association) we have learned that there have been many cases of sub-standard equipment being imported to the UK with fatal circumstances in some cases.
We believe that genuine quality products with a good track record, backed up with technical support and training is the best way to ensure our customers peace of mind buying the right equipment for the job.