Electric vehicle (EV) tyres should be subjected to taxation as they release dangerous particulate matter, according to the chairman of the government’s independent science advisory group on clean air.
A professor of atmospheric chemistry at the University of York, Alastair Lewis argued that particulate matter emitted from tyres is a much bigger risk to public health than CO2 emissions coming from fuel cars.
“PM 2.5 is considered to cause the largest amount of damage to public health… Nitrogen dioxide [from diesel fumes] comes second,” he told the Telegraph.
According to Lewis, once EVs become the norm, air pollution control measures will need to change too.
“When everybody owns a low emissions vehicle, low emission zones become a toothless control lever to try to manage air pollution,” he said.
“We do have to project forward about how we’re going to manage vehicles in large cities like London in the future when we have a largely electrified fleet of vehicles.”
Lewis’s remarks were criticised by AA, as the association said the professor’s words would act as deterrent and refrain people from going electric.
“Electric vehicles don’t produce emissions from their tail pipes,” he told the outlet.
“They are a massive leap forward. The technology will evolve to reduce anything that comes from the tyres. You should not deter people from buying electric cars.”