Electric cars are sending tire particles into the soil, air, and water
In a nutshell:
Just when we seem to be on the cusp of mass EV adoption and preparing to glide forth into a guilt-free, sustainable transportation future, current research compels us to take a serious look at where the rubber meets the road. A vehicle expels toxics from more places than the tailpipe. In fact, in today's vehicles, tire pollution is typically much worse than engine emissions and the increased vehicle weight of EVs threatens to accelerate tire wear.
“The tire people look at the tires, the car people look at the cars, and the road people look at the roads, but it needs to come together.”
Once again, the quest for a more sustainable future runs smack into the unsustainable tendencies of consumption-based, profit-driven, free-market capitalism. Manufacturers of next-generation electric vehicles have been tooling up and preparing for an electric future alright. But the money and the demand is in trucks and SUVs so, at least in the near-term, manufacturers are focused on a "zero to 60" market that has no intention of down-sizing their ride or backing off on the highway. EVs, heavier by nature due to the battery are expected to chew through tires at a much higher rate, expelling microplastics that wind their way through airways, waterways and the food chain.