An anonymous reader writes: Thanks to ongoing efforts to reduce engine emissions, nowadays only 10% to 15% of particulate emissions from traffic are coming from vehicles’ tailpipes. The remainder originates in tire, road surface and brake wear. A study by Victor Timmers and Peter Achten published in Atmospheric Environment has now found that the extra weight of electric vehicles causes non-tailpipe emissions to increase by about as much as the omission of the internal combustion engine saves. Atmospheric particulates have been shown to cause cancer, cardiovascular disease and respiratory diseases and are widely considered as the most harmful form of air pollution. Achten said, “We found that non-exhaust emissions, from brakes, tires and the road, are far larger than exhaust emissions in all modern cars. These are more toxic than emissions from modern engines so they are likely to be key factors in the extra heart attacks, strokes and asthma attacks seen when air pollution levels surge.” The study shows that non-exhaust emissions a vehicle produces is directly related to its weight. Scientists found that electric and eco-friendly vehicles weighed around 24 percent more than conventional vehicles, which in turn contributes to more wear on the tires.

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