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

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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

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James Ayre

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.

James Ayre has 4830 posts and counting. See all posts by James Ayre

87 thoughts on “PM10 Emissions As High In EVs As Gas/Diesel Cars?

  • So, what about it? I see, road cleaning.

  • I don’t think I totally understood the data presented but I found it interesting that the actual exhaust from fuel was portrayed as a very small percentage of a vehicles overall emissions. I’m not clear if these other emissions presented are “dangerous” like the Co2 and other exhaust related emissions are.

  • Did they subtract the dust (resuspension) and road wear from the fuel tankers that won’t be on the roads?
    Stand next to a busy road, breathe in – take in the odour; now listen – imagine all the traffic was electric. Think for a minute about the CO2 pumping from each and every exhaust pipe. Are we really going to stress about a few percent more dust? Did anybody raise this point when people switched from sedans to SUV’s?
    Yes, there’s a straw there – go on, ICE camp – clutch it.

    • And these clowns are in Edinburgh where it rains and the particulate never gets airborne in the first place! *rant over now*

    • Yes, every below grade tank filled with gas or diesel requires a diesel delivery truck. And perhaps they managed to include the same particulates noted for EVs – when they are exhausted in refining gasoline and pumping it electrically into customer’s petrol tanks.?

  • The next think you will learn is that it that they will measure the emission from eating baked beans in the morning! Baked beans is an essential part of the breakfast they have in Scotland. In fact the UK is the highest consumer of baked beans in the world. And we all know the effect of baked beans on the air we breath!

    • Are you the representative from Cranks R Us we’ve been expecting?

      • Hey whoa! Hold on a minute! Methane is a very powerful GHG…;-)

  • A Belgian study found something similar recently and I could hardly believe it then (they called it particulates I think). They should at least give some more insight into how dangerous these ’emissions’ are compared to the actual fuel emissions.

    • If you follow their reasoning, the headline could say, dangerous increase in PM10 caused by SUVs. Or pickups. Vans. Luxury cars. Trailers. Boats. Winnebagos. Trucks… Buses…

  • Yes indeed this is a faulty study. It’s EV ignorant. A Ford Focus EV is a compliance car, not a purpose built EV. We are in EV infancy. The Nissan Leaf has a low energy density battery, and high aerodynamic drag coefficient. Those contribute to the need for more and heavier batteries, which are the main causes of increased weight. Still, the Leaf is a rather svelte 3,300 pounds. That’s pretty light these days. The Focus EV is over 3600 pounds. And I will wager a Tesla Model 3 will weigh about 3500 pounds. A BMW 3 series starts at 3800 pounds.
    This weight business only makes sense if everyone drives the same size car and choices are based on reason. Those are false assumptions. If that were true, no one would be driving huge empty SUVs. This study naively ignores the significant difference in weight caused merely by owners emotional choices.

    • While your last paragraph is true, it doesn’t change one simple fact: an EV is heavier than an ICE of similar size and design.

      That is a problem when it comes to PM. Not a problem that is significant enough to negate the huge environmental benefits of EVs in other areas of course, but clearly big enough to warrant further research and possibly regulation. One option would be to take vehicle weight into account for tax purposes, rather than just performance and cost as is done now in most countries.

      • I voted this up because I think the idea of linking vehicle taxes to vehicle mass is a good idea. Not because the study is correct the link between dust and vehicle mass.
        Heavy vehicles do indeed bugger up roads. But it’s not really the surface that’s the problem. It’s the substrate. And this relationship is not linear.

      • Yes. I agree. With EVs that existed up until now, that was true. Thats why I said EVs are in their infancy. And why I posted that I will wager the Model 3 is about 3500 pounds. Less than a BMW 3 series. So as EVs develop, and batteries get better, than weight margin narrows. IMO, its good to encourage EVs to lower weight and increase performance, as long as their use is still promoted.

        • I think the Tesla will come in closer to 3800 lbs, but just a little heavier than the average BMW 3-series considering that the base Model 3 likely is closer in performance to the bigger-engined 330xi and 340i.

      • A problem with PM – only in a place where the wind never blows! The only differing variable between EVs and ICEs is within the actual contact path of the tires. Everything else would have been lifted by normal winds anyway. Ceteris paribus, a very flawed study.

  • “Emissions”. I do not think that word means what they think it means.

  • They of course picked PM10 rather than PM2.5. It’s the smaller particles that do the worst damage, you would think. It also seems likely that mechanical abrasion will lead to bigger particles than combustion.

    Another very large omission is the exclusion of trucks. Road damage is a nonlinear function of weight – I recall a study that it goes up by the fourth power of axle weight. The same could easily be true of tire wear.

    Diesel engines emit NOX as well as soot.

    It all looks pretty tendentious. A real problem, sure.

    • Great points James. I doff my cap, sir.

  • The study doesn’t pretend to cover the gaseous emissions and the health factors associated with the nature of the various components of the particles which together constitute the major threats so is of limited significance.

    • For PM, the composition of the particles is of limited significance. Average particle diameter and total exposure are the main variables. PM10 from brakes is as harmful as PM10 from combustion (though combustion also comes with PM2.5, which the study didn’t look at)

      • Quite. The Wikipedia article (link) is clear that the smaller particles are more deadly.
        “In 2013, a study involving 312,944 people in nine European countries
        revealed that there was no safe level of particulates and that for every
        increase of 10 μg/m3 in PM10, the lung cancer rate rose 22%. The smaller PM2.5 were particularly deadly, with a 36% increase in lung cancer per 10 μg/m3 as it can penetrate deeper into the lungs.”
        It also confirms that diesels produce more of the smaller particles:
        “Particles emitted from modern diesel engines (commonly referred to as Diesel Particulate Matter, or DPM) are typically in the size range of 100 nanometers (0.1 micrometer).”

        • I think he meant “composition” as in chemical composition.
          I suspect you’re making the same point.

      • Except… well, lead and stuff. You can’t simply wish it away just because it’s small.
        Thus, PM10 from brakes that happens to be lead is more harmful than PM10 from tyres that happens to be carbon black.

        • Cite for lead in brake pads? News to me, if true.

          • Asbestos is still in brake pads in the US. I believe they don’t have lead any more.

          • Never heard of lead break pads. As to Asbestos it is being phased out. Most cars today are sold with metal break pads.

  • It’s not the first study to reach this conclusion. There is this Belgian research paper for example:

    Sadly it’s only in Dutch and only the summary is free, but suffice to say that it reaches the same conclusion as the paper mentioned in the article.

    The PM problem from road wear is something that has no quick fix technical solution. For public transport, a shift from buses towards trams on the busiest lines would work. Rail also causes some PM emissions, but much fewer than the rubber-asphalt combo from hell.

    For passenger cars, reducing vehicle weight, as BMW is doing through the use of carbon fiber for example, would be an excellent start. Forcing city dwellers to use smaller, lighter cars by for example shrinking parking spaces would also help a lot.

    • Mist sprays on vehicles behind the wheels?

      • airborne bacteria from a watertank that sits around for days?

      • Drivers already are too lazy to stock up on Adblue if they’re not forced to. Do you think they’d religiously keep their water tank topped up? Also, think about dry climates.

        I’d think a combination of better tire design, lower vehicle weight and fiscal measures to reduce vehicle size would be the only realistic options.

        The arch-enemy of Treehuggers everywhere, ExxonMobil, has done some very interesting work at low-wear tires for example.

    • cycling!

    • Fortunately my Dutch is okay. Unfortunately, the study you mentioned seems to be another one that simply cites other sources for the simple linear relationship between vehicle mass and (non exhaust) particulate emissions.
      A lot of the different “studies” seem to link back to the “CLEVER” study by Clopfert et al at the Free U of Brussels. But I’m struggling to find anything THERE that provides evidence to support this relationship.

      Are you familiar with the original source?
      One of the reasons that I’m sceptical is that the Coulomb model of “simple dry friction”, whereby friction is a linear function of only the normal force, and is completely independent of surface area of contact, specifically DOES NOT apply to rubber. So yeah. Did someone simply extrapolate? Or guess?
      Was anything ever actually measured?
      To me it sounds as if somebody simply made an assumption based on high school physics. And perhaps this simple error has been referenced and re-quoted and cited back and forth until it has taken on a life of its own.

      If you know of some good original data, I’d be curious to get a look at it.

      • The amount of rubber going of the tires should roughly determine how much rubber you shed in the environment and roughly also equate the ability to lift of rubber residues on the tarmac.

        So if anyone have credible numbers for rubber wear that would be interesting.

        For bicycles the quality tires last considerably longer and especially Scwalbe are by my experience outstanding.

        • My experience with Schwalbe tires was not good (fitted on a new Cannondale Synapse): after just two months the sidewalls were ripped (New Jersey roads?). I now use Vittoria Rubinos or Conti GPs.

    • So, all the more reason to create an infrastructure which protects and fosters the so-called ‘gossamer’ solar powered vehicles, at least in urban areas.

    • Where I live the roads are essentially never dry. This joke study doesn’t really account for that….

      Yes, more asphalt/rubber particles suspended in the water going into the storm drains. Potentially bad but definitely better than toxic tailpipe emissions in the air.

  • It gets as cherry picking as saying that black cars are worse than white ones because they trap double the sun’s heat, augmenting the planet’s temperature, without telling the planetary impact.

    Without a proper context view of all particulate and dusts emitted by cars to built, fueled and run, this study is pointless. It only fuels debates without grounding.

  • Dust kick up by a car is dependent on mass, yes. But it is also dependent on airflow around the car. How much turbulence it generates. Then we see that EV brake wear is zero. Much less yes, but zero?. So look I will cry BS on this study.

    • It’s perfectly reasonable to make a “conservative assumption” like that in a limited study, providing it is acknowledged as such. They’ve given EVs the absolute maximum benefit of the doubt.

  • The Audi A7 weighs 4,362 pounds, the Porsche Panamera weighs 4,586.
    The Tesla Model S weighs 4,464-4,936 depending on configuration (60 kWh-P90D). These three have nearly identical dimensions (size, weight, passenger volume) yet one is an EV.

    The BMW i3 weighs 2,799-3,064 lbs. The similarly sized Ford Focus ICE weighs 2,935-3,055.


    It should be noted that INNAS, the “independent” engineering firm behind the study, does “innovative product development” for, among other things, “combustion engines.”

    • Aha. So the bogus study is funded by a combustion engine research company.

  • Re resuspension: having lived in the dry American southwest and wet Mid-Atlantic, there are vast differences in road particulate matter depending on location.

    Also, as one can readily observe in dry dusty climates, resuspension depends greatly on vehicle drag.

    I highly doubt the flat bottomed very low drag coefficient Tesla S kicks up particulates anything like a typical ICE.

    • Yes. Exactly.
      And I suspect that the relationship between vehicle mass and resuspension of particulates is also partly due to the SIZE of the vehicle. Traditionally, there is a reasonable correlation between vehicle mass and vehicle size. It’s not clear where they got their info from, but it might simply be a dodgy assumption that they’re trying to extrapolate onto a situation where it’s not relevant. Are they simply using data that’s based on the typical “heavy” vehicles out there?

      My gut feeling tells me that a big empty interlink would pick up more dust, at the same speed, than a much smaller truck of the same mass. The frontal area is important. As is the total surface area in close proximity to the ground, I suspect.
      (Not any kind of hard science to back me up, but I lived next to a dusty gravel road, in dusty Africa, for my entire childhood.)

    • I feel that is a very important point.
      A low level drag coefficient Tesla designed from the ground up to create as low a disturbance to the stationary air is inherently less likely to create large air eddies that disturb the PM2 to pm10.
      The foot print of a vehicle with an extra 280 kg which works out to 70 kg per Tyre against a weight of a vehicle of say 1200 kg means 23.3% increase.
      To then from that find that there is more resuspension without doing the actual in-situ measurements is of little value.

  • Typical clickbait study purporting to show how EVs are somehow “worse” than ICE cars. PM10 emissions are not the problem, CO2 emissions are. EVs win.

    • The health argument for evs is really important too, and has been covered here. The current estimates are 3.5 million excess deaths a year worldwide for outdoor air pollution, mostly from vehicles, and at least $3.5 trillion a year in health costs. Links in this blog post of mine.

    • EV’s win as long as their power source is not fossil fuels. In that case, I think they’re about on par for CO2. For health, it depends whether the particle traps and NOX control on the power station are better or worse than tailpipe emissions, and how far the smokestacks are from your lungs, but at the very least the EVs add to the benefits of clean electricity.

  • I hear a sucking sound and its not from a massive fleet of road sweepers vacuuming up all this nebulous road dust.

    The giant suck I hear is the life quickly escaping from the fossil fuel industry as they get increasing desperate to come up with any thin thread of research to defend their crumbling business.

  • Presumably as ICE vehicles are replaced by EVs there will be a diminishing amount of PM10/PM2.5 particles to be kicked up from the road.

  • Interesting article. I agree that road dust is a nasty thing. While in college many years past I lived on a busy city (my apt. faced a busy city street) and the black road dust was wicked bad. This road dust is something to address but me thinks it is a tempest in a teapot compared to exhaust issues of ICE. Lou Gage

  • Somewhere along the line they forgot that a lot of the particles being re-suspended came from exhaust and brake wear in the first place.

    • Nicely put.

    • Exactly. That entire red bar is a complete red herring. At best, resuspension is simply double counting of the same stuff. The studies that they cite actually make specific mention of this and actually warn of the inherent potential for corruption of data.
      However, it can safely be assumed that re-suspension is more likely with the smaller lighter fractions. (Various other papers support this. As does everyday common sense.) And we know that these smaller particles are disproportionately attributable to combustion, rather than tyre wear. So, a GREATER proportion of whatever is thrown up again be passing vehicles, is in fact originally attributable to ICEs, not EVs.

      They also seem to have assumed that the quantity of particulate matter that is resuspended is a function solely of the vehicles mass. Because…? Umm… Maybe heavy vehicles are generally bigger?
      One of the papers they refer to has a table showing that “heavy vehicles” entrain lots more particulate matter than “light vehicles”. Wow. Surprise.
      Is THIS where they got their relationship from? Can they really have been that stupid?

      • Calm yourself and try to think straight. It is not a blame game it is an opportunity to do something about a pressing problem.

        I was responsible for improving the working condition in an office with 40 designers and one of the things we did was to install an electrostatic air cleaning system and a water cleaning system with a large water coated surface and a simple aquaria like cleaning system.

        We tested the effect with a coffee filter in front of a high voltage electrode that attracted charged particles. When the systems was of the coffee filter was really dirty and when they were on the filter was much cleaner – just think about your lungs the ams way.

        Also after the measures was put in place the cleaning routines required was far less rigorous.

        • More trees on city streets would probably do a similar job. My towns putting in cycle lanes, which will entail getting rid of a few hundred car parks. Not sad about that ( I don’t drive ), but I’m hoping we don’t lose any trees as well.

  • This strikes me as a bit of a “funded” study.
    Go into the center of any large city (except the ones that have banned ICE traffic, especially diesel) and you can SMELL the air.
    It’s not necessarily the PM 10 that’s the problem. It’s all the other gunk. In any case, I’m not convinced. When you cover a study like this, please provide direct links.

    • Are there any cities that have banned ICE vehicles now? I know I have seen proposals but as far as I know none have actually implemented complete bans yet. I would genuinely like to visit such city if one exists yet to witness first hand the difference it could make. Thanks.

      • Here you go:

        It’s quite a long list. I don’t claim to have knowledge of all of them, but I’ve been to quite a few.
        It’s an interesting list. Turns out that a lot of the more pleasant cities around the world have decided to restrict ICE vehicles.
        I was talking about city centres, of course. Difficult to ban cars completely over a wide area. But the impact in congested city centres is the most noticeable.

        • I was aware that many cities have CAR free areas but I thought we were discussing ICE bans.. So i wonder if there is an area where you can bring an EV but not an ICE vehicle. So not car free, just emission free. I know I have read proposals to do this but I do not know of any place that has actually carried through with an ICE ban. So far it seems some places have only instituted “congestion charges” and the like to discourage vehicle usage, still nothing related specifically to an ICE vehicle restriction whereas an EV would be exempt from the restriction.

          The area could be a much larger part of the city, eventually at least, by still allowing EV’s so people can get around downtown without all the harmful emissions. I love downtown Toronto, but I can only imagine how much more pleasant it would be without all the vehicle emissions, especially buses and trucks. We are a long way but a guy can dream…

          • Yes, there are some islands and mountain resorts which specifically allow battery-electric vehicles while banning other automobiles.

  • I would say the study suggests nothing about cars and everything about road surfacing. It is high time better surface components were used.

    • In some cities the roads are cleaned, which is another way to limit the contamination with particles.

  • What about secondary particulate emissions from exhaust? I’m pretty sure secondary particulates dwarf primary particulates these days. Also, do the resuspended particulates stay in the atmosphere as long as exhaust particulates? Surely they do not. After all, the particulates that settle fastest are the most likely to end up on the road in the first place.

  • This study is as believable as VW clean diesels. Surely they took the PM10 counts right from the ICE car automakers marketing department.

    • Please point out the flaws in its methodology?

      Its only claim is that EV’s are as bad as ICE vehicles in terms of PM10 (note that this is of course just one of many pollutants). That claim is not new and is supported by other studies.

      It’s a problem, and trying to pretend it doesn’t exist isn’t doing anyone any favors.

      ‘But mummy, ICE vehicles are even dirtier’ is not a valid defense for the EV industry. Even for a toddler it’s weak.

      • Okay, let’s do this for you: The correlation between higher resuspensation and higher vehicle weight is probably only a proxy for the actual vehicle drag coefficient, which tends to be much worse for heavier vehicles such as Pickup trucks. The actual pressure tires put on an asphalted road should really not matter that much from a physics standpoint given the very low weight of PM10 matter. Therefore the basic assumption off this study seems flawed, rendering it highly questionable.
        Secondly after all the fraud involved in measuring acutal exhaust emissions from ICE cars I somehow can’t believe the numbers they took for PM10 exhaust emissions. Granted, the PM2.5 are the much bigger problem in that, but if these numbers are also up to 10 times wrong, then this is highly significant.
        Thirdly there is no context provided to PM2.5 matter, making this graph perfectly suited for any ICE company marketing material, nor is there a health impact discussed, but hopefully there is something about that in the original study, as scientific papers should discuss the scope of their work.
        Basing this study on assumptions and not measurements and additionally its omissions make it seem biased.

        • 1) Why would it be a proxy for drag coefficient? The physical basis for that assumption is not at all clear. A heavier vehicle with the same drag coeffcient would still produce far more PM than a lighter one.

          2) While a valid argument for diesel, there is so far little evidence that measurements for gasoline deviate too far from values found in literature.

          3) That is true. However, you’ll find the authors do not claim that EV’s are as bad as ICE overall – they merely looked at one very specific pollutant out of many.

          It’s the reporting and the interpretation by the commenters here that is flawed, not the study itself.

          • Sorry, just now reading replies to my comments. Regarding to your question: Resuspensation means “kicking up dust from the surface of the earth into the air”.
            The only process doing that is turbulence caused by the drag of the vehicle and these turbulences have nothing to do with the vehicle weight. PM10 matter can also be produced by brake pads. While heavier vehicles put more wear on the brake pads, nearly all electric vehicles have regenerative braking, greatly reducing the wear on brake pads and most certainly readuce PM10 matter from braking compared to ICE vehicles. Secondly wear on tyres can produce PM10 matter, but while the production with PM10 correlates with weight, the resuspensation of this matter doesn’t correlate with weight but with turbulences caused by the vehicle as I wrote before. I would think that a lot of tyre wear acutally ends smeared up on the road. As I wrote before, this paper is mainly assumptions which are highly questionable.

      • Flaws in the methodology?
        SO many! Where do we even start…?
        Okay, here goes:
        1) Nothing was actually measured. Ever.
        For a study that purports to tell exactly what the levels of EV emissions are, you’d think they might have bothered to actually measure some EV emissions. Or any kind of emissions. This so-called “study” is titled “Non-exhaust PM emissions from electric vehicles” implying that they know what these are. They do not. They have not bothered to go anywhere near an EV, nor measured a single iota of particulate matter. They have simply “analysed the existing literature”. What that means is that they have cherry-picked whatever information they could find that would help them to “prove” their foregone conclusion.

        Such stupid. So lying.
        uaarrrgh. Too angry to type coherently now.
        Will get back to this later.

  • Timmers Koch and Achten Koch.

    • Part of the fossil fuel funded scholarship programs?

  • What is the relative AGW and health effects of EVs compared to ICEVs, if CO2, CO, and NOX gases and diesel particulates are included???
    Are you worried about getting hangnails if you are in a car wreck?
    Warped reasoning.

    Carbon composites and higher energy density solid state batteries will make EVs lighter in the future. In the US, a large number of ICEVs are SUVs and heavy pickup trucks. Was a survey of vehicle weights included, or just a cherry pick of particular models?

  • Aside from the propensity of EV drivers to burn rubber like teenage boys in a ’67 Pontiac, accompanied by a loud belly laugh, this sounds ridiculous. IMHO.

    Sure, it’s partly a function of the mass of the vehicle. But think about it…

    Consider the phrases “burning rubber”, “skidmarks”, and “doughnuts”.
    The moment you overcome the static friction between rubber and tarmac, and the wheel/s start sliding across the surface, the tyre wear increases by orders of magnitude.
    So how can we prevent that?
    1) Regenerative braking to prevent skidmarks.
    2) All wheel traction control to avoid laying tracks
    3) Dispensing with the differential, to avoid doughnuts

    In other words, by having an electric vehicle.
    Not quite as much fun, if you’re seventeen and hoping to attract the attention of redneck girls, but definitely a lot easier on the tyres.

    Could somebody please formally debunk this study?? Like by actually writing to the authors?

    • You are probably right but a lot of the effect comes from whirling dirt already sticking to the surface of roads up again. Friction between the road and tyres is highly desirable and you need more when the car is heavier.

      Best way around the problem is to go lighter, which is the inevitable route to better performance anyway.

      I do not clean my bicycle too much because a dirty bike is less likely to be stolen in Copenhagen but when I do the dirt I need to remove is thick and very sticky. There is a Danish company that has developed car cleaning without soap and water usage completely powered by solar panels and they collect and send the dry residue to a chemical destruction facility.

      When you change the air filters in a car they are also extremely dirty so for any company wanting to have a net negative 10PPM emission cleaning with filters and with clean car wash should be the perfect option.

      • Off topic, is bike theft a big problem in Denmark? I’ve heard it’s rampant in Holland. ( Had two bikes taken when I moved back to my home town in New Zealand, and had to start locking them.)

  • Has oil industry sponsorship written all over it; they know PM10s are a big deal right now with the focus on diesel so they are throwing that in there to confuse politicians.

  • The more I investigate this “study”, even from the summaries, the more holes I’m finding.
    Ones that I can drive a double-decker bus through.
    The authors of this “study” and the journal that decided to publish it, should be deeply embarrassed.
    Will be back tomorrow with a proper debunking. Can someone with academic access please arrange to get me the original article? Not paying $35 for this nonsense…

    So bad. Misquoting their sources. Making completely spurious assumptions. Using irrelevant metrics. Cherry picking individual data points.
    Soo bad.
    Retract this bollocks, Messrs Timmers and Achten, at least for the sake of your own dignity? Or have you already sold that?

  • Which gasoline company paid for this? This is a particularly silly hit piece.

  • “the (presumed) additional weight of electric vehicles…” Should have stopped reading there?

    • I don’t like the presumption when this is data that is easy to find with a bit of Googling, still as an assumption it’s probably about right. My Ford AU 3.9litre straight six wagon is roughly the same size as my BEV but only 68% the weight and the Volt is surly heavier with its two power trains and battery than the equivalent gasoline car. The assumption about brake wear is obviously much too high for a modern electric vehicle although the tyre wear may be conservative for an electric vehicle. Anyway more to the point what are the numbers when you include tailpipe emissions (I have to think they would dwarf any figures found in this report even if just looking at PM10 particulate matter) ?

  • Is this a solution in search of a problem?

  • Hmm… let me see, could all of the Scottish offshore oil platforms have anything to do with this? It seems to me that the CD of the vehicle would have more to do with stirring up dust than the weight of the vehicle.

  • PM is not the problem….CO2 is the problem. Current anf future extreme hydrological events are the problem. Drastic temperature rise in the Arctic is the problem. Increasing severity of droughts and longer hotter heat waves are the problem. These are caused by increasing CO2 levels, NOT by PM.

    That whole article is only a distraction, a non issue in the big picture.

    “It’s the CO2….. STUPID”

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