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|Copyright: Khairil A Junos|
Electric cars are sending tire particles into the soil, air, and water
Electric cars fix one pollution problem—and worsen another. David Zipper writes for The Atlantic.
In a nutshell:
Just when we seem to be on the cusp of mass EV adoption and preparing to glide forth into a guilt-free, sustainable transportation future, current research compels us to take a serious look at where the rubber meets the road. A vehicle expels toxics from more places than the tailpipe. In fact, in today's vehicles, tire pollution is typically worse than engine emissions, and the increased vehicle weight of EVs threatens to accelerate tire wear.
“The tire people look at the tires, the car people look at the cars, and the road people look at the roads, but it needs to come together.”
Once again, the quest for a more sustainable future runs smack into capitalism. Manufacturers of next-generation electric vehicles have been tooling up and preparing for an electric future. But the money and the demand is in trucks and SUVs. EVs, heavier by nature due to the battery, are expected to chew through tires at a much higher rate, expelling microplastics that find their way into air, waterways and the food chain.