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"Electric Cars Will Not Tackle Air Polution"

Discussion in 'Electric Vehicles' started by dpeilow, Aug 5, 2017.

  1. dpeilow

    dpeilow Moderator

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    This is another one of those whack-a-rat stories that will not go away.


    Last year there were reports of electric vehicles causing higher particulate matter that ICE, based on the false assumption that because some models are heavier, they must cause higher tyre and brake pad wear. It ignored all other factors such as regen not requiring as much use of the friction brakes and smoother power delivery and eco tyres not wearing the rubber out as quickly. For example, my Ampera is still on original rear tyres and all four pads at 60,000 miles.

    It was quickly discovered that the original paper was written by an undergraduate engineering student, aided by a Dutch consultancy with interests in components for ICEs and conventional hybrids. It was deeply flawed. The student's institution, the University of Edinburgh, has disowned the paper, as can be seen here:

    [​IMG]


    However this did not stop the story resurfacing again earlier this year in the magazine of the IET, nor again yesterday twice in the Guardian and BBC.

    London should lead in showing electric cars will not tackle air pollution

    Electric cars are not the answer to air pollution, says top UK adviser

    Fewer cars not cleaner ones key to tackling air quality - BBC News


    This time around it looks like a concerted effort by the anti-car brigade with multiple articles. If there is anything more sinister behind it, then it is a clever move to get the left on board with their cause. While encouraging more people onto public transport or to cycle is laudable, the timing of this seems like a counterattack from the 2040 announcement.


    However, the main spokesman this time is Professor Frank Kelly of King's College London. What is worrying is that he chairs the government advisory committee on the medical effects of air pollutants - so this may just affect public policy.

    His details can be found here:
    King's College London - Professor Frank Kelly



    While the source of this myth has been discredited as having a potential conflict of interest, I am intrigued as to why it has been picked up by a leading academic. Has anyone seen any other research that specifically shows a link between EVs and particulate matter? And does the professor have any interests outside of academia?
     
    • Informative x 3
  2. scaesare

    scaesare Active Member

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    I should send him my brake pads. I just turned over 100K miles and they look like new.
     
    • Like x 1
  3. dpeilow

    dpeilow Moderator

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    Hmm. No one willing to follow up on this one? Sounds like a job for @TEG :)
     
  4. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    Uh oh, the red phone started ringing...
     
    • Funny x 2
    • Like x 1
  5. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    Bouncing around the Internet starting from DPeilow's links, I ended up on this document some people might find interesting:
    https://www.healtheffects.org/sites/default/files/Lutsey.pdf

    Not in a bad way though... So far all I have found seems to be reasonable looking reports and research, but I didn't dig very far.
     
  6. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    The image link doesn't seem to work in the first post anymore. Here it is in case it is missing for anyone else:
    image2.jpg


    By the way, the professor seems to be involved in a lot of things including this: Professor Frank Kelly - National Phenome Centre
     
  7. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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  8. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    • Like x 2
  9. dpeilow

    dpeilow Moderator

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    Thanks TEG.

    By the way, the outlet which first broke the story about the original, now disowned paper was The Times.

    Eco-vehicles fill air with deadly toxins

     
  10. William13

    William13 Member

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    @dpeilow, I read the article months or years ago that the Times references. The fallacy was that the study measured Particulates stirred up from the road by passing cars, not the Particulates caused by passing cars. These Particulates don't go too far.
     
  11. *KT*

    *KT* Member

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    I'm going to give Frank Kelly the benefit of the doubt for now that what he was possibly trying to say was 'yes it is good to reduce all air particulates, exhaust and non-exhaust. We have regulations to reduce exhaust emissions and we do not have regulations to reduce non exhaust emissions and we should".

    exhaust pollution was a big factor in me deciding to buy BEV. I am since enlightened on particulate pollution as well so i practice one pedal driving as much as possible to reduce braking and hence brake dust. Compared to my previous car, this car generates little to no discernible brake dust for which i am very happy. Now to work on the tyre wear, keep my psi at recommended levels (have a hand compressor for this reason) and i am comfortable i am doing my bit to reduce particulate air contamination as much as possible while driving a car.

    While i wait for the rest of society to catch up, i am glad for my HEPA filter when i am driving behind a car visibily belching black smoke out its exhaust.
     

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