There’s a lot of controversy regarding whether or not electric cars will make a huge difference in the amount of emissions and urban pollution currently produced by internal combustion engine vehicles, and it’s particularly the case when it comes to the tyres used on them, says avid tyre recycler, Australian Chris Lett.
The driving force behind Australia’s Branigans Tyres for 15 years and provider of slightly used, high quality tyres, Lett says that where things stand at this point, it looks like tyres (and brakes) will continue to carry a big share of the blame for pollution even after the non-gas guzzlers are on the roads in large numbers and accurate statistics can be determined.
Exhaust Emissions May Not be the Problem
Lett says many factors have to be taken into account when comparing the environmental impacts of electric cars with those of fossil fuel vehicles (and particularly diesel-powered ones) that have to date been considered responsible for polluting the air of urban areas, even in spite of regulations in parts of the world limiting the amount of emissions allowed. A major plus for EVs has therefore been that they don’t rely on that fuel, and they don’t have exhausts.
However, research has shown that fossil fuel and exhausts might not even been the worst contributor of pollution even when non-electric cars ruled the road. Quoting data from Emissions Analytics, Lett says it seems that pollution caused by brake, tyre and road wear, insufficient tyre pressure, and rough roads, could be producing 1,000 times more pollution than exhausts ever have. And this is not helped by the increasing trend towards heavier vehicles like SUVs.
According to Lett, other factors have been added to the controversy when it comes to the eco-friendliness of battery-driven cars. These include a manufacturing process claimed to emit around 35% more emissions than those released during the production of the standard car; the damage to the road surface caused by EVs’ heavier weight; and continuing to use rubber tyres which will pollute the air as well as the sea and other waterways some claim will involve even more of the toxic fine particles that are associated with them.
Changes to Tyres Should Be On the Roll
He said developments are already underway as tyre manufacturers adopt a different approach to the manufacturing of both the EVs, and the tyres they use, for the sake of the environment, as well as to address the nearly 200 variables involved in the changeover.
Among these are the need for greater durability in order to extend the life of the tyres; suitable materials and methods of construction; and the design of the side-walls and treads.
EV Tyres Will Have to Last Longer
According to Lett, at present using standard tyres on electric vehicles would be unwise, unless the vehicle’s owner is prepared to accept that they won’t last as long on an EV as they would on a fuel-driven car.
EVs are considerably heavier because of the added weight of the batteries which power them between recharges. This, and the instant torque that gets the car moving quickly, puts extra strain on the tyres. And larger numbers or increased sizes of the batteries used will make the situation worse, as will the presence of two engines, one electric and one combustion, that are found in some hybrid vehicles.
“If used on the wheels of electric cars or hybrids, standard tyres are therefore more likely to have a shorter working life than they would when used on their non-electric counterparts,” Lett says.
For further information and assistance in choosing the right replacement tyres, visit or call Chris and his team for Second Hand Tyres Gold Coast |Branigans Budget Tyres Service Centre at Burleigh Heads (07) 5535 2660 or Southport (07) 5591 8633.