EV Tires Are Hammering Environment

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For all the positive environmental contributions EVs make compared to gas-powered cars, many evaluations miss the rate at which EV tires wear. This also makes EVs more expensive to operate. Price is among the reasons many Americans list for not owning EVs. 

According to a paper published at Emission Analytics titled “Gaining traction, losing tread Pollution from tire wear now 1,850 times worse than exhaust emissions,” EV tire wear is a massive contributor to air pollution.

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In a Wall Street Journal article on the paper, the author wrote, “Cars are heavy, and as their tires rub against the road, they degrade and release tiny, often toxic particles. According to measurements by an emission-analytics firm, in gasoline cars equipped with a particle filter, airborne tire-wear emissions are more than 400 times as great as direct exhaust particulate emissions.”

The New York Post picked up the same analysis, “Because EVs are on average 30% heavier, brakes and tires on the battery-powered cars wear out faster than on standard cars. Emission Analytics found that tire wear emissions on half a metric tonne of battery weight in an EV are more than 400 times as great as direct exhaust particulate emissions.”

It is hard to say whether this analysis is accurate because other research has yet to confirm it. However, several anecdotal analyses show EV tires only last about 22,000 miles compared to those on gas-powered cars, which are closer to 60,000 miles. 

The studies do say one thing for certain. The standard analyses of EVs compared to gas-powered cars are not as simple as they seem.

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