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An Unexpected Electric Vehicle Environmental Problem With Common Sense Solutions

Electric vehicle growth

The United States is witnessing a rapid adoption of electric vehicles

(EV’s)—in 2023, annual sales of EV’s surpassed one million for the first

time ever, a 54% increase from 2022. At present, the transportation

sector accounts for about 30% of total U.S. greenhouse emissions,

and the growing adoption of EV’s has the potential to drastically

reduce total emissions.

An unexpected environmental problem

Despite all the benefits EV’s confer on the environment, they actually

increase one environmental challenge: the cars produce more

scrap tires. EV’s have batteries that are heavier than a traditional

combustion engine and are, on the whole, 20% heavier than an

equivalent gas-powered vehicle.

Additionally, electric vehicles can also reach maximum torque

almost instantaneously, which increases the cars acceleration

rates while also increasing the friction, contributing to increased tire

wear and waste.

Heavier vehicles use tires up to 30% faster. At present, the United

States produces approximately 315 million scrap tires per year. With

the adoption of EV’s, we expect that number to increase 12%, to 352

million scrap tires annually by 2030.


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