Clean Air Strategy to target Tyre and Brake Pollution

Having already outlined their plans to dramatically reduce exhaust emissions over the coming years (read all about the impending ban on sales of petrol and diesel cars here) the Government have now outlined plans to reduce pollution from brakes and tyres.

The new plans, that come once again as part of the Clean Air Strategy, aim to tackle the particulate matter that is emitted through general tyre wear and braking. Whilst you may think that pollution from these sources must already be minimal, the tiny PM2.5 emissions given off are roughly 5 per cent the thickness of a human hair, meaning that they can easily penetrate deep in the lungs.

Due to their ability to travel through the human body, unhindered by the nose and throat, a number of health conditions have been linked with the microscopic particles – for this reason, they have become the next focus of various Government agencies.

Due to the Government’s other Clean Air Strategy initiatives (like the ban on sales of new petrol and diesel vehicles), experts estimate that PM2.5 emissions caused by tyres and brakes will make up 90 per cent of vehicle pollutants by 2030 – when the transport sector moves to electric vehicles.

Unlike their previous focus – exhaust emissions – PM2.5 emissions are given off by almost every vehicle regardless of whether they are powered by a fossil fuel or an alternative energy source.

That universal problem leaves Government agencies with the hard task of finding new ways to remove the sources of pollution.

The answer, which is already being researched by many automotive companies, depends on the creation of new tyres and brakes that utilise new materials to minimise emissions; many developments have already appeared. One such development recently came from Bosch in the form of the all-new iDisc brake disc. Utilising a tungsten-carbide coating, these brake discs are capable of emitting 90 per cent less brake dust than traditional iron brake discs.

Whilst there are currently no formal plans from the Government to tackle these emissions, you can surely expect to see new initiatives and laws appearing over the next year as more electric cars take to Britain’s roads.


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