Electric cars emit nearly same particles as new car on petrol

Summary

Emissions not related to exhaust, such as those caused by tyre wear and braking, are greater in electric vehicles, according to research by KU Leuven, calling into question the use of the cars as an environmental benefit

Non-exhaust emissions

An electric car emits nearly as much fine dust as a modern car that runs on petrol, according to research by Transport & Mobility, a spin-off of the University of Leuven. The results of the research were announced by De Standaard.

Fine dust is created not just by a car’s motor but also by the wearing out of tyres and braking. Those so-called non-exhaust emissions are higher in electric cars because most of them are heavier than other kinds of cars. These non-exhaust emissions are a particular problem in the city, where drivers brake often.

The research shows that a new small car on petrol in the city creates less fine dust than an electric car of average size. “If electric cars would replace all cars on diesel, there would definitely be an environmental benefit,” said researcher Bruno Van Zeebroeck. “But the benefit is almost just as much if all cars on diesel were replaced by small, modern cars on petrol.”

Van Zeebroeck pointed out that the test didn’t examine the smallest particles of fine dust, which are the most harmful to human health. These particles are mostly emitted by diesel-fuelled cars.

He questioned the advantage of fiscally supporting electric cars. “Should we expect the government to partly finance the high price of these vehicles if there is only a limited environmental benefit?” he stated. “They also don’t solve traffic problems, take up and tests in the Netherlands have raised questions about how economical they are.”

The researcher said that the public should invest in mainly smaller electric vehicles, like electric bicycles.

Photo courtesy zeronaut.be

Emissions not related to exhaust, such as those caused by tyre wear and braking, are greater in electric vehicles, according to research by KU Leuven, calling into question the use of the cars as an environmental benefit.

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The five main renewable energy sources in Flanders are biomass, biogas, wind energy, solar energy and water power. The renewable energy sector has grown sharply in recent years, with wind and solar energy production especially on the rise.
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million kilowattage of green energy in 2012

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percentage of green energy used in Flanders in 2012