Examining Electric Cars & Particulate Matter
There have been record numbers of articles written in 2015 referencing Inside EVs as the source for cumulative EV sales.
So, it was a bit disheartening to read an article posted by Mellisa Lott in the Scientific American referencing 300,000 EVs in the US and counting, while the current US count is just shy of 400,000. That is just a little more than an acceptable margin of error.
The author produced the table above to point out how the particulate matter pollution produced by, tires, brakes, and road wear was much greater than from exhaust emissions of an ICE, thus concluding the environmental damage of an EV. The following source link was provided as the basis for the table, though it is our opinion that the derived conclusions may be off by the comparable measures as the reported cumulative EV sales.
For starters, there is no consideration for regenerative braking under brake wear for urban driving. Nothing is pollution free, and particulate matter is a serious issue worthy of public conversation. It would have been noteworthy to point out how hybrids and EVs, are greatly reducing particulate matter through regenerative braking.
Furthermore, if you are going to write about EVs and pollution, should your table not include EVs and more than just one compound from exhaust emissions? Nowhere in the article could the reader understand how much an EV can reduce pollution.
Particulate matter is known as a contributor toward premature deaths from exhaust emissions, brakes, tires, and roads, though civilizations have turned a blind eye in favor of advancements brought since the dawn of the industrial revolutions. The particulate pollution created from your electrical source matters just the same as that from your tail pipe.
When EVs can receive their power from a renewable source, their emissions truly are zero. Already many EV drivers are saying YES to renewable sources to power their PEVs. Additionally, if hybrids and PEVs can reduce particulate pollution through regenerative braking, then once again, EVs are saving lives.
Yes, EVs have tires and use the roads, but their environmental benefits are worth our adoption today. As for tires and roads, it may not be long before we start by looking at their composition, and begin the conversation towards different manufacturing materials.