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British Firm, ENSO, Recognised for Reducing Tire-Wear Pollution in Electric Vehicles

Published September 21, 2023
9 months ago

ENSO, a tire manufacturing company, has been lauded for its efforts to curb particle pollution originating from tire wear, especially in electric vehicles (EVs). The company earned a spot as a finalist in Prince William's Earthshot Prize for its innovative tire technology.

Tire-wear pollution represents a pressing, yet oftentimes neglected issue in the discourse surrounding EVs. While EVs mitigate traditional fuel emission concerns, they present their own set of challenges, especially relating to tire-wear pollution. Studies show that tire and brake wear are now greater contributors to small particle pollution than vehicle exhausts.

Tire wear particles, which also constitute microplastics, are linked to severe health conditions including heart diseases and cancers. They also cause extensive environmental damage, with roughly 28% of marine microplastics originating from tire wear.

Founder and CEO of ENSO, Gunnlaugur Erlendsson, emphasizes that efforts to curb this problem should not be focused solely on EVs. The trend toward larger, heavier vehicles, particularly SUVs, exacerbates the situation.

ENSO responded to this problem by designing more durable tires using high-quality raw materials and quality engineering. An organised trial by Transport for London indicated these improved tires reduce particulate emissions by 35% and enhanced driving range by 10%.

Erlendsson highlights the larger industry’s focus on cost-saving renders tires less durable and necessitates frequent replacements, thus escalating the tire pollution problem. He argues for stricter regulations on tire pollution and asserts that while tires can't last forever, the impact of pollution can be greatly reduced.

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