A new study is attracting widespread attention online by highlighting the surprising way in which electric vehicles are still pumping loads of climate-harming pollutants into the environment — and in many cases, at much higher rates than gas-powered cars.
The study, published recently by Emissions Analytics, a U.K.-based emissions testing firm, found that under normal driving conditions, particulate emissions from tires are an eye-popping 1,850 times greater than from a tailpipe of a gas-powered car.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency defines particulate matter as “solid particles and liquid droplets found in the air” that are “so small that they can be inhaled and cause serious health problems.” Some are small enough to enter deep into the lungs and even soak into the bloodstream.
The particulate matter emitted from tires also pollutes the natural environment, as larger particles cover the ground while smaller particles float into the air. In fact, “Fine particles are also the main cause of reduced visibility (haze) in parts of the United States, including many of our treasured national parks and wilderness areas,” the EPA notes.