Electric vehicles will use CO2 heat pumps in future

R134a or R1234yf are normally used as the refrigerant in heat pumps for electric vehicles. Heat pumps using carbon dioxide haven’t been implemented in any serial cars, but these are expected to be the future solution.

There are different pros and cons but when we talk heat pumps. R1234yf is not a great solution because it cannot achieve full heat at outside temperatures colder than -5 °C. But carbon dioxide (CO2) is expected to be able to do the job at lower temperatures.

Icing of the outside heat exchanger (in the front of the vehicle) is a challenge. This means the heat exchanger is going to need a different design than today’s condensers. And when the market finally changes to CO2 heat pumps, all the heat exchangers will be adapted to the higher CO2 pressures, etc. That will be a great day for extruded aluminium tubes.