- NEEs are all other sources of car-related pollutants than exhaust emissions.
- Tire smoke, from a burn-out, could be 1,000 times worse for the environment over emissions.
- NEEs are also relevant for Zero-emission electric vehicles.
Just about all of us gearheads love a good burnout. The sounds, the smell, the excitement – it’s all a pure display of power. If not pulling elevens, then drifting is always spectacular. These two activities have one thing in common and that’s lots of burning rubber and ensuing tire smoke. A study performed by Emissions Analytics says that not only tires, but brake wear and road dust are problematic sources of emissions.
Emissions Analytics describes non-exhaust emissions (NEE) as follows: “They are particles released into the air from brake wear, tyre wear, road surface wear and resuspension of road dust during on-road vehicle usage. No legislation is in place to limit or reduce NEE, but they cause a great deal of concern for air quality.”
Two points, among a many, really come to light when reading the report. One is that these NEEs are the cause of the majority of primary particulate matter “released” by cars and the other point is that weight and size are intensify the problem.
The world’s love for large SUVs is an issue in itself but perhaps the shocking truth revealed by the study is that electric vehicles, because of their typically excessive weight, produce more NEEs than equivalent ICE vehicles.
Now, this is not a debate about EVs vs. ICEs and which pollutes more or less but more of an extra incentive for battery developers to push on and create lighter and more compact units.
Nick Molden, CEO of Emissions Analytics said: “The challenge to the industry and regulators is an almost complete black hole of consumer information, undone by frankly out of date regulations still preoccupied with exhaust emissions. In the short term, fitting higher quality tyres is one way to reduce these NEEs and to always have tyres inflated to the correct level.
“Ultimately, though, the car industry may have to find ways to reduce vehicle weight too. What is without doubt on the horizon is much-needed regulation to combat this problem. Whether that leads to specific types of low emission, harder wearing tyres is not for us to say – but change has to come.”