Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

CleanTechnica

Air Quality

PM10 Emissions As High In EVs As Gas/Diesel Cars?

Originally published on EV Obsession.

A new study from researchers at the University of Edinburgh and the independent engineering firm INNAS BV has found that, when the (presumed) additional weight of electric vehicles and other factors are considered, PM10 “emissions” from electric vehicles and gas- and diesel-powered vehicles are equal. How serious should these findings be taken? For background on PM10 emissions and their effect on health and the environment, see this EPA page.

While the study is arguably interesting, the fact that the presumed increase in “resuspension” accompanying a higher vehicle weight should be considered as equal to actual increased emissions is bizarre to my mind.

Yes, heavier vehicles do in fact kick up more dust — that’s in the nature of the matter. But, as the graph below shows, the actual emissions (exhaust, tire wear, brake wear, etc) are quite a bit lower for electric vehicles (EVs) than for gas- or diesel-powered internal combustion engines (ICEs). Why consider presumed/estimated (not measured) particulate matter resuspension to be equivalent to actual emissions? I don’t think anyone ever actually mistakes the dust kicked up on a dry road for diesel exhaust, or tire wear emissions, do they?

Graph emissions

Here’s more on the matter (via Green Car Congress):

Timmers and Achten analyzed the existing literature on non-exhaust emissions of different vehicle categories, and found that there is a positive relationship between weight and non-exhaust PM emission factors. Further, they found that EVs are on average 24% heavier than equivalent ICEVs. For example, the Ford Focus Electric and gasoline-powered Ford Focus hatchback have almost exactly the same specifications; the EV, however is 219 kg heavier. Likewise, the Honda Fit EV is 335 kg heavier than the conventional version; the Kia Soul EV is 311 kg heavier than the regular Kia Soul, etc.

A 2013 study by a team at Paul Scherrer Institute found that an increase in weight of 280 kg will result in a PM10 increase of 1.1 mg per vehicle-kilometer (mg/vkm) for tire wear, 1.1 mg/vkm for brake wear and 1.4 mg/vkm for road wear. For PM2.5, these values are 0.8 mg/vkm, 0.5 mg/vkm and 0.7 mg/vkm for tire, brake and road wear, respectively.

However, a different study found that the brake wear of EVs tends to be lower because of their regenerative brakes. Because there is little research which has investigated the actual reduction in emissions resulting from EV braking, Timmers and Achten assumed a conservative estimate of zero brake wear emissions for EVs. Based on a different study, they assumed a linear relationship between weight and resuspension, and used a 24% increase in resuspension for EVs (due to the on average 24% increase in weight).

On the combustion side, the advent of PM emission standards and new particulate filter technology has greatly reduced exhaust particle emissions from new ICEVs. Averaging the emission factors from US and European emission inventories, Timmers and Achten obtained a PM10 emission factor of 3.1 mg/vkm for gasoline cars and 2.4 mg/vkm for diesel cars. In terms of PM2.5, these values were 3.0 mg/vkm and 2.3 mg/vkm for gasoline and diesel cars, respectively.

There are a lot of assumptions being made here that don’t seem prudent to me. I certainly don’t claim that EVs are environmentally benign, as they are as much a part/product of the modern industrial system as nearly anything else, but I don’t find these research findings to be very credible …. Feel free to disagree with me.

The new work was published in the journal Atmospheric Environment.

Image Credit: University of Edinburgh, Timmers and Achten


Appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Technician, or Ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.

 
 
Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

Written By

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

Comments

#1 most loved electric vehicle, solar energy, and battery news & analysis site in the world.

 

Support our work today!

Advertisement

Power CleanTechnica: $3/Month

Tesla News Solar News EV News Data Reports

Advertisement

EV Sales Charts, Graphs, & Stats

Advertisement

Our Electric Car Driver Report

30 Electric Car Benefits

Tesla Model 3 Video

Renewable Energy 101 In Depth

solar power facts

Tesla News

EV Reviews

Home Efficiency

You May Also Like

Cars

Courtesy of Union Of Concerned Scientists, The Equation. By Elliott Negin As electric vehicle (EV) aficionados like to say, the cleaner the grid, the cleaner...

Cars

Courtesy of Union Of Concerned Scientists. By David Reichmuth, Senior Engineer, Clean Transportation Program Electric vehicles have a high profile right now, with EVs featuring...

Aviation

For as long as I can remember, word on the street has been that trains are much greener than planes. Nonetheless, some regulations changed,...

Cars

After a multi-year investigation, the Volkswagen diesel cheating scandal is drawing to a close.

Copyright © 2021 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.