Daikin Industries is developing an energy-saving refrigerant for vehicle air conditioners that will help extend range. As air conditioners consume large amounts of electricity, the refrigerant would allow more power to be allocated to driving.

The company will invest several billion yen to set up a test plant at a factory in Ibaraki prefecture, beginning sample production in 2024. The hope is to introduce the product as early as 2027.

Global EV sales will reach 36.9 million units in 2030, a 2.6-fold increase over the 2023 forecast, accounting for more than 35% of new vehicle sales, according to the International Energy Agency.