Larger battery particles in the EV can cause a large increase in particles

Larger battery packs in the EV can increase the range, but a new study says it could also significantly increase particulate emissions from tires.

The study comes from Emission Analytics, a UK-based independent emissions testing company. It started sounding the first alarm in 2020, revealing a study showing that tire-wear particulate emissions are 1,000 times worse than tailpipe emissions.

This study was designed to determine the amount of worst-case tire emissions under legal driving, Green Car Congress Note that the recent study covers a wide range of driving conditions, based on more detailed analysis conducted in the interim. Emission analysis has also performed chemical analysis of hundreds of new tires, even working with the UK’s National Physical Laboratory to measure uncertainty in chemical composition.

Michelin Pilot Sport EV tires for electric vehicles

Michelin Pilot Sport EV tires for electric vehicles

The result? Emissions analysis has now concluded that the emission of tire-wear particles in normal driving is 1,850 times higher than the emission of tailpipe particles.

“The fundamental trends driving this ratio are: tailpipe particulate emissions are much lower in newer cars, and tire wear emissions increase with the aggressiveness of the vehicle’s mass and driving style,” according to the emissions analysis.

This is not good for larger EV battery packs, which contributes to a significant amount of weight. Half a metric ton of battery weight can produce 400 times more tire emissions than real-world tailpipe emissions, the rest being equal, “the emissions analysis concluded.

2022 GMC Hummer EV

2022 GMC Hummer EV

The company noted that tailpipe emissions are suspended in the air for some time, negatively affecting air quality, while tire emissions go directly into the ground and water. Emission Analytics also concluded that about 11% of the tire’s exhaust mass is smaller than 2.5 microns in diameter. This is the threshold for airborne particles which can cause respiratory problems.

Tailpipe emissions are still a major problem – especially with climate change. But as new cars become more efficient and EVs begin to form a larger part of the fleet, the environmental impact of tire emissions must be addressed. In addition to particles, a 2021 study found that tires are a significant contributor to microplastic contamination.

It has some innovators – such as Dyson researchers – coming up with innovative ways to help vehicles clean up as they go. Regulators must also take steps to recycle tires so that used tires do not cause contamination through disposal.

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