Stokenchurch, UK – The European Tire & Rubber Manufacturers' Association (ETRMA) has responded to a British emissions testing firm which has claimed pollution from tire wear can be significantly worse than tailpipe emissions.
In a report published 6 March, Stockenchurch-based Emissions Analytics Ltd said "non-exhaust emissions" — such as tire-wear particles, brake wear and road debris — can be up to 1,000 times worse than emissions from exhaust.
"Our initial tests reveal there can be a shocking amount of particle pollution from tires," Senior Researcher Richard Lofthouse at Emissions Analytics said, noting that non-exhaust emissions are not regulated.
"It's time to consider not just what comes out of a car's exhaust pipe but particle pollution from tire and brake wear."
The problem, Emissions Analytics said, is compounded by the rising number of larger, heavier vehicles, such as SUVs, on the roads.
In its comments 10 March, the ETRMA said its analysis of the EmissionsAnalytics’ test found that did not reflect normal driving conditions and went “far beyond the toughest realistic driving behaviour.”
In addition, the ETRMA said Emissions Analystics used a fully loaded vehicle fitted with "low quality" tires and incorporated "high speeds and excessive cornering" in its testing, elements it said "underscores the unrealistic nature of the driving test and its results. ...."
According to ETRMA, factors such as driving behaviour, vehicle characteristics, tire design, road topology and surface, traffic and weather can all impact particle generation by tires.
“EmissionsAnalytics’ results clearly show the impact of aggressive driving behaviour as well as carrying a load that is not representative of normal circumstances,” it added.
Effective solutions, the European association added, “need to consider all external factors and are only possible if we work together with all relevant stakeholders.”
ETRMA said it was open to engage with EmissionsAnalytics and all other stakeholders in the future to build “robust scientific knowledge and identify practical solutions.”