Recent deployments of Air Quality Sensor (AQS), R744-based heat pump, and Child Presence Detection (CPD) applications have given rise to a potential market for sensors that can be used to detect carbon dioxide (CO2) gas. However, challenges around regulatory mandates and optimizing technologies along the lines of cost and performance remain for this nascent market. The latest Strategy Analytics Powertrain, Body, Safety & Chassis Service (PBCS) service and Electric Vehicle Service (EVS) report, Cost and Technical Challenges Will Limit the Automotive CO2 Sensors Opportunity analyzes the possible market opportunity of CO2 sensors in automotive.
Volkswagen recently began offering purchasers of the new ID.3 and ID.4 electric vehicle models to add a heat pump feature that would retain more driving range, which is claimed to provide heat more efficiently in ambient temperatures of -5 Celsius and below. Such a feature is run on the R744 (carbon dioxide, CO2) refrigerant and so requires the fitment of a CO2 sensor to detect leakage of the gas that can asphyxiate occupants.
“However, there are many hurdles facing CO2 sensors in the automotive sector,” says Kevin Mak, principal analyst in the Global Automotive Practice (GAP). “Despite the first deployments of such sensors to enhance cabin air quality nearly a decade ago and the safety benefits of using R744 refrigerant over conventional R1234yf, automakers have preferred more cost-effective and experienced workable solutions in HVAC. This, in turn, has limited market opportunities for CO2 sensors in the automotive.”
The study notes that future developments using MEMS technology to realize small cost-effective form factors and a possible regulation on PFAS (Poly-Fluorinated Alkyl Substances) (implying regulation on the use of R1234yf) may provide impetus in the future.