As gas-guzzling cars are replaced by their electric counterparts, tailpipe emissions are on the decline. But cars have other negative impacts on environmental health, beyond what comes out of their exhaust pipes.
One of the bigger, and lesser known, problems is tire pollution — or “tire and road wear particles,” in industry terminology.
Tires shed tiny particles with every rotation. Tire wear happens most dramatically during rapid acceleration, braking, and sharp turns, but even with the most conservative driving, particulate pollution is an unavoidable consequence of car use. And it’s a problem that’s poised to get worse as drivers transition to EVs.
“We’re pushing for decarbonization by going to battery electric vehicles, and in doing so we’re pushing up tire wear emissions … which is going to prove difficult to solve,” said Nick Molden, founder and CEO of Emissions Analytics, a London-based company that performs independent tests on cars’ real-world tailpipe and tire emissions. Molden pointed out... Read more