Fair Fuel APPG for UK Motorists and UK Hauliers August 2021 Page | 37 Road wear and resuspension rates are only partly related to the passing vehicle, including its weight, but are probably more determined by the road material and condition, and what particles are blown onto the road from multiple surrounding sources. Tyre wear emissions are likely to grow as vehicles continue the long-term trend of becoming heavier, although this may at some point be offset by using more lightweight construction materials. Understanding tyre wear emissions provides a challenge as they are heterogenous. Unlike, for example, nitrogen oxide (NOx), which is a unique compound that can be measured as a mass or volume, particles from tyres come in an infinite combination of shapes, sizes and densities. Moreover, the particles are made up of a wide array of chemical compounds, and these chemicals may also stick – or adsorb – to the surface of the particle. In this way, particles can act as the distribution vector for other compounds. What Cherry and his team found defies conventional logic: electric cars cause much more overall harmful particulate matter pollution than petrol cars. Chris Cherry, assistant professor in civil and environmental engineering, and graduate student Shuguang Ji, analysed the emissions and environmental health impacts of five vehicle technologies in 34 major Chinese cities, focusing on dangerous fine particles. “An implicit assumption has been that air quality and health impacts are lower for electric vehicles than for conventional vehicles,” Cherry said. “Our findings challenge that by comparing what is emitted by vehicle use to what people are actually exposed to. Prior studies have only examined environmental impacts by comparing emission factors or greenhouse gas emissions.” The health fallacy – ‘Thousands are dying of air pollution” In 2015, the European Environment Agency report on Air Quality in Europe said that 72,000 premature deaths were attributable to Particulate Matter (PMs) and NOx exposure in 2012 across 40 European countries mainly because of exposure to diesel emissions. The EU called these figures ‘A public health emergency’. If the EEA is right, we should be seeing this massive death toll in our hospitals. This huge loss of life should be visible to everybody, and we should be hearing about the extra strain put on the doctors, nurses and health services across Europe because of the thousands of these emission-related fatalities. But we’re not. And that’s why FairFuelUK and the APPG wanted to look at those figures a little more closely. Is it right that 37 million UK drivers should be subjected to punitive measures and unchecked media demonisation based on flawed data? The key word here is ‘premature.’ A premature death is defined as one that ‘occurs before a person reaches an expected age. This expected age is typically the age of standard life expectancy for a country or gender.’ This means that every death before the standard life expectancy is a premature death whether it happens 20 years or two days before that life expectancy. By definition, many humans die prematurely for a wide variety of reasons. All doctors and scientists realise that this premature death number has only a limited meaning, so they have given us another more accurate value and its YLL – or ‘Years of Life Lost’. From the University of Tennessee at Knoxville comes this surprising bit of research. Taken in entirety, an electric vehicle has a greater impact on pollution than a comparable gasoline vehicle.