Study Turns Up Surprising Way 'Green' Cars Pollute More Than Gas-Powered Engines


Editor’s Note: Our readers responded strongly to this story when it originally ran; we’re reposting it here in case you missed it.

Remember the complaints about the feasibility of electric vehicles, particularly in terms of limited range? Well, guess what, you climate-denier: You can’t keep hiding behind that excuse!

See, now that automakers are fitting bigger batteries into cars, that’ll dramatically increase how far you can go between charges. And with new, fast-charging stations being built with government money, you can easily get anywhere you want to go in a vehicle that doesn’t emit anything from its tailpipe.

You just may be emitting particulate matter into the environment at a much higher rate than you would in a gas-powered car, according to a new study.

(Here at The Western Journal, we’re making sure consumers know that electric cars don’t just run on rainbows and dreams; there are serious environmental tradeoffs politicians and environmentalists haven’t fully publicized, or even considered, as they push these vehicles relentlessly on American car-buyers. We’ll keep bringing America the truth the establishment media won’t. You can help us by subscribing.)

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According to a piece published May 16 by the EV-centric outlet Green Car Reports, a British-based independent emissions testing firm found that particulate matter emissions from tires are 1,850 times greater under normal driving conditions than from a tailpipe of a gas-powered car.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency’s website, particulate emissions are “microscopic solids or liquid droplets that are so small that they can be inhaled and cause serious health problems.” It notes the particles “are also the main cause of reduced visibility (haze) in parts of the United States, including many of our treasured national parks and wilderness areas.”

The EPA defines particle pollution as “inhalable particles,” which are under 10 microns in diameter, and “fine inhalable particles,” 2.5 microns and smaller.

The firm that conducted the study, Emissions Analytics, had previously found in 2020 that particulate emissions from tires could be 1,000 times greater than those from tailpipes. That test was designed to capture worst-case emissions under legal driving, according to the report. But when researchers replicated the test “across a wider range of driving conditions,” they found the number was even higher.

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“The fundamental trends that drive this ratio are: tailpipe particulate emissions are much lower on new cars, and tire wear emissions increase with vehicle mass and aggressiveness of driving style,” Emissions Analytics concluded.

“Tailpipe emissions are falling over time, as exhaust filters become more efficient and with the prospect of extending the measurement of particulates under the potential future Euro 7 regulation, while tire wear emissions are rising as vehicles become heavier and added power and torque is placed at the driver’s disposal. On current trends, the ratio may well continue to increase.”

Furthermore, they found that adding half a metric ton (1,100 pounds) “of battery weight can result in tire emissions that are almost 400 more times greater than real-world tailpipe emissions, everything else being equal.”

That’s a daunting issue for carmakers, considering that electric vehicles already have a tendency to be heavier than gas vehicles because of the weight of their batteries, and the fact that buyers want greater range — meaning bigger battery packs. Weights of batteries vary among electric vehicles, but they average is about 1,000 pounds, according to information on

According to a CNN report, the battery-powered Ford F-150 Lightning weighs 1,600 pounds more than a regular F-150 truck. The Volvo XC40 Recharge packs an extra 1,000 pounds of weight when compared to a Volvo XC40 with an internal-combustion engine.

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There is a caveat to this: “An important difference between tire and tailpipe particle emissions is that most of the former is understood to go straight to soil and water, whereas most of the latter is suspended in air for a period, and therefore negatively affects air quality,” Emissions Analytics noted.

However, 11 percent of tire particulate emissions is smaller than 2.5 microns in diameter, which is “the common metric for fine particle dust,” which may become airborne.

Any way you cut it, though, it’s pollution going into the air, the water, or the soil that’s coming from electric vehicles. And it’s worse than tires on cars with lighter, gas-powered engines.

This is just one study, of course — but it’s also just one problem with the switchover to electric vehicles that progressives keep pushing.

Take spontaneous combustion, for instance.

In Paris, a state-owned public transport operator pulled 149 of its buses off of the street after two of them exploded in April. That same month, a house fire caused by an electric vehicle charger in the Washington, D.C., area was reported to have caused $15,000 in damages. As Washington’s WTOP-TV noted, this came just weeks after another D.C.-area house fire caused by an electric car charger generated $350,000 in damages.

With public chargers — like the ones the administration desperately wants to fund — the issue is whether they work at all. A study in the San Francisco Bay Area earlier this year found that over a quarter of the charging stations weren’t fully functioning. Then there’s the length of time it takes to charge at public stations, as one Business Insider journalist noted in a tweet:

And then there’s the environmental damage caused by mining the minerals needed to build EV components. Or the fact that China controls most of the supply-chain access to said minerals. Or that EVs are considerably more expensive than gas-powered vehicles.

Pick your poison. Heaven knows there are plenty of them. We’ve found a new one in electric vehicles. It’s time the progressive left at least admits the truth: There is no such thing as a free lunch.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture