So as manufacturers transition from gas engines to electric, now this article tells us maybe we won't quite see the anticipated impact because tires pollute more than engines. So how long before we are then asked to go back to wooden tires?
I also find it funny that a lot of this is because of the fact that vehicles have become much heavier. That has affected fuel economy, road wear, and pollution. Granted a lot of that weight is due to changing customer preferences but also government regulations and mandated features.
https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/tir ... 00063.html
Believe it or not, rubber particulates from tires may pollute more than gasses emitted from vehicle tailpipes. Varying by compound, the emissions created by tires come in the form of expelled rubber particles which eventually reach waterways or soak into nearby soil. According to Emissions Analytics, a UK-based vehicle data specialist, tire-wear particles account for emissions at a rate 16 times greater than the maximum tailpipe emissions allowed for modern cars in the UK.
Over a tire's lifespan, it will emit an average of 1850 times more particles than the actual tailpipe emissions of a modern gas car. How did they come up with this whopping statistic? Data was collected using proprietary particulate sampling equipment over the course of 1000 real world miles in combination with precision scale weight figures on all four tires. Hundreds of brand-new and used tires in addition to various driving styles created additional variables in particulate mass emissions measurements.
Emissions Analytics cautions that such figures need careful scrutiny. "The fundamental trends that drive this ratio are: Tailpipe particulate emissions are much lower on new cars, and tire-wear emissions increase with vehicle mass and aggressiveness of driving style," the company report reads. "Tailpipe emissions are falling over time while tire wear emissions are rising as vehicles become heavier and added power and torque is placed at the driver’s disposal.
As electric vehicles and the accompanying infrastructure are adopted worldwide, skeptics have levied that tailpipe emissions displaced by electric power will be re-produced in other ways, such as battery production or power-grid strain. In the case of tire particle emissions and EVs, the verdict is still unclear. EVs are generally heavier than their internal-combustion competitors but have the advantage of instant torque delivery. Both of these factors greatly increase the level of tire wear and particles emitted.
"Nevertheless, it is important to say that a gentle BEV driver, with the benefit of regenerative braking, can more than cancel out the tire wear emissions from the additional weight of their vehicle, to achieve lower tire wear than an internal-combustion-engine vehicle driven badly," the report says.
Driving style appears to have the largest effect on particle emissions, with aggressive driving producing almost 100 times more emissions than regular driving on new tires. Also important is tire compound, with some formulas producing significantly more particles than others.
Emissions Analytics has released its EQUA Tire database, which categorizes independently sourced samples of organic compounds and test results from over 40 manufacturers, with the hope that tire manufacturers can use this data to limit their emissions. Going forward, this data will also be helpful to government regulators as they shape health policies around microplastic pollution. At this time, the EPA regulates emissions from tire production, but there are no laws around tire-wear pollution—similar to the regulatory structure present in the UK.
As research into tire-wear pollution continues, it is likely that emissions regulations pertaining to tires will be proposed—and for good reason: Tire-wear particles are generally small enough to easily enter human lungs and bloodstreams, eventually making their way to the brain. Microplastics such as tire-wear particles are increasingly being found in humans, and the effects of this trend aren't fully clear.
What tire companies can do, however, is to research the toxicity of their tire compounds. Some tire compounds can be three times more toxic than others, according EQUA Tire data. With better research, companies may be able to eliminate certain toxic ingredients and alter formulas to limit particle shedding.