Carmakers urged to address brake and tyre pollution as 'immediate priority'

Government advisors warn particle emissions from tyres, brakes, and road-wear are overlooked problem caused by both fossil fuel cars and EVs

The government has today called on the car industry to take urgent action to tackle air and plastic pollution from car tyres, brakes, and road surface-wear, with Ministers warning the issue is a “poorly understood” yet growing problem that may require stricter standards for both battery electric vehicles (EVs) and fossil fuel cars.

To date most regulatory and industry efforts to reduce air pollution from road transport have focused on exhaust pipe emissions, but tiny particles and dust are also released into the air from brake-wear, tyre-wear, and road surface-wear which can harm human health and wildlife.

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As such, although fully-electric vehicles produce zero tailpipe emissions as they use batteries instead of combustion engines, EVs still produce particle pollution from their tyres, brakes and impact on roads. Advocates of EVs note that the use of regenerative braking means electric models should result in lower levels of friction-based air pollution than conventional cars.

However, some air pollution remains inevitable from all road transport and concerns are growing amongst campaigners that there is currently no legislation in place in the UK to specifically regulate these emissions.

A new report today from the Air Quality Expert Group, a committee which provides independent advice to the government, predicts that car pollution from non-exhaust sources is set to account for as much as 10 per cent of all PM2.5 particle emissions in the UK by 2030.

But the report, which offers the

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