Electric vehicle transition ‘driving up' scrap tire arisings
8 Feb 2024
Recyclers' group estimates that the US will produce more than 350m scrap tires a year by 2030
Washington – While electric vehicles (EVs) offer significant sustainability benefits in term of fossil-fuel emissions, they do create other environmental challenge – not least increased generation of scrap tire arisings.
So says a white paper issued by the US-based Recycled Rubber Coalition (RRC), noting that EVs are 20% heavier than equivalent hydrocarbon-powered vehicles.
This, along with the near-instantaneous generation maximum torque increase friction-force on the tire rubber, leading to higher levels of tire wear and waste.
As a result, RRC estimates that as drivers transition to EVs, the US will produce more than 350 million scrap tires annually by 2030.
Each year, it added, almost 300 million scrap tires – estimated at over six billion pounds in weight – are generated in the US.
“Without proper reuse, those tires could end up in junkyards and landfills, creating environmental and public health hazards,” the Coalition stated.
Describing tires as “the perfect material for a circular economy,” it highlighted how tires can recycled into rubber-modified asphalt, crumb rubber infill, or poured-in-place playground surfaces.
“Rubber recyclers and end-market users are critical to finding a secondary life for those millions of tires,” RRC argued in the recently issued white paper on the subject.
Recovery, recycling, and secondary usage keeps more than 220 million tires out of landfills each year, with an economic impact of $2.47 billion, the Coalition estimated.
Support ed by the Washington-based Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, RRC includes organisations and companies involved in rubber recycling and the manufacture of recycled rubber products.