Pollution From Tyre Wear Worse Than Exhaust Emissions
by Becky Harrison |
posted 18 March 2020
Emissions Analytics has found that the pollution from tyre wear can be 1,000 worse than what comes out of a car’s exhaust.
A serious and growing environmental concern is the harmful particle matter from tyres and brakes and the increasingly popularity of large, heavy vehicles such as SUV’s is thought to be exacerbating this problem. Unfortunately even electric vehicles can contribute to the pollution as they are heavier than standard vehicles due to their batteries.
Non-exhaust emissions (NEE) are particles released into the air from brake wear, tyre wear, road surface wear and resuspension of road dust during on-road vehicle usage. Unlike exhaust emissions, no legislation is in place to limit or reduce NEE, but they cause a great deal of concern for air quality.
NEEs are currently believed to constitute the majority of primary particulate matter from road transport, even for vehicles with zero exhaust emissions of particles – such as EVs.
Emissions Analytics are the leading independent global testing and data specialist for the scientific measurement of real-world emissions and they wish to better understand the scale of the problem. To do this they performed some initial tyre wear testing using a popular family hatchback running on brand new, correctly inflated tyres. They found that the car emitted 5.8 grams per kilometre of particles.
Compared with regulated exhaust emission limits of 4.5 milligrams per kilometre, the completely unregulated tyre wear emission is higher by a factor of over 1,000.
Richard Lofthouse, Senior Researcher at Emissions Analytics said: “It’s time to consider not just what comes out of a car’s exhaust pipe but particle pollution from tyre and brake wear. While exhaust emissions have been tightly regulated for many years, tyre wear is totally unregulated – and with the increasing growth in sales of heavier SUVs and battery-powered electric cars, non-exhaust emissions (NEE) are a very serious problem.”
While drivers can do their part in reducing these NEE’s by fitting higher quality tyres, the car industry may need to take bigger steps to combat the problem, such as reducing the weight of modern day vehicles.