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According to Environment secretary, electric cars could be less environmentally friendly than expected due to polluting particles.

According to Environment secretary, electric cars could be less environmentally friendly than expected due to polluting particles.

George Eustice (pictured) said gains from switching to electric cars from petrol and diesel ones 'may be less than some people hope' because of particles they create which do not come out of the exhaust

The Environment Secretary warns that electric cars may not be as green-friendly as you think. This is because of the polluting particles they emit.

  • Electric cars are usually 20-30% heavier that petrol or diesel cars
  • This means that electric cars are more susceptible to wear on brake linings and tyres.
  • According to Environment Secretary, this leads to more polluting fine particles


Yesterday, the Environment Secretary warned that electric cars might not be as green and as efficient as we were led to believe.

George Eustice claimed that this is due to the pollutants produced by heavier battery-powered cars.

This means that electric cars may not offer the same benefits as petrol or diesel cars because of particles they produce which don’t come out of the exhaust.

The wear from brake linings or tyres on roads may be more than with petrol and diesel cars because of the weight and pollution of electric cars.

Electric cars are typically 20-30% heavier that their petrol or diesel counterparts.

MPs on the environment and rural affairs committee were questioning Mr Eustice about measures to reduce polluting particulate matter (known as PM2.5).

George Eustice (pictured) said gains from switching to electric cars from petrol and diesel ones 'may be less than some people hope' because of particles they create which do not come out of the exhaust

George Eustice (pictured), stated that the benefits of switching to electric cars instead of petrol and diesel cars’may not be as great as some people hope’ due to particles they produce which do not escape from the exhaust

PM2.5 is considered to be the most dangerous type. It can penetrate the lungs and cause respiratory disease.

It is responsible for tens of thousands deaths each year.

Mr Eustice stated that the unknown is how far we will go in switching from petrol and diesel vehicles to electric.

“There’s scepticism, as some say.” [due to]Wear and tear on roads, as these vehicles weigh more, the gains may not be as great as some people hope, but it’s still unknown at this time.

In 2019, the Government’s pollutant advisers warned that electric cars must be used in conjunction with urgent measures to eliminate pollutants from the exhaust.

Wear from brake linings and tyres on the roads may be greater than with petrol and diesel vehicles because of the weight of the battery in electric cars, Mr Eustice suggested, which in turn generates more polluting fine particles. (file photo of electric car being charged)

According to Mr Eustice, wear from brake linings and tires on roads may be higher than with petrol or diesel vehicles due to the heavier battery in electric cars. This, in turn, generates more polluting fine particle pollution. (file photo showing an electric car being fully charged)

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According to the Air Quality Expert Group (AQEG), while battery-powered cars emit zero exhaust emissions from their engines, particles from brake wear, tire wear, and road surface wear account for well over half of the road transport particle pollution.

It warned that there is no legislation currently in place to limit or reduce these particles.

“So, while the legislation has reduced emissions of particles from exhausts but increased the non-exhaust portion of road traffic emissions.

To help the UK reach its goal of zero net emissions by 2050, the government has banned the sale and purchase of new petrol or diesel cars by 2030.

When Mr Eustice was asked about other ways to reduce pollution, such as banning barbecues, he said that this would be too far.

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