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    Heavier electric cars wear out roads faster

    Electric cars have come under criticism from some scientists for emitting a lot of fine dust, produced by the tires and brakes.

    Now it has also become clear that the road surface wears out much faster from electrical vehicles, compared to internal-combustion engine cars.

    Due to the massive battery, electric cars weigh more than ordinary passenger cars. Because of this bigger weight, not only do the tires wear out faster. According to experts from the Delft University of Technology, the top layer of the asphalt is also likely to wear out more quickly because electric cars have a higher acceleration capacity.

    “Asphalt is an extraordinary material. The faster you accelerate, the harder it gets and the more counter-pressure it gives,” explained Sandra Erkens, professor of applied civil engineering at the TU Delft.

    “We know that acceleration, braking, and steering movements cause additional wear. That’s what you see at the entrance and exit lanes and at speed cameras, where people slow down. But we do not have good tools yet to calculate this effect. It is unclear if we are talking about percentages or thousandths of percentages? We need years of data before we get the hang of it,” Erkens added.

    Fine Particles

    “Research has shown that electric vehicles do indeed cause extra wear due to their weight,” said Bruno Van Zeebroeck, researcher at Leuven’s Transport & Mobility research centre.

    “Furthermore, it appears that electric cars produce hardly any less fine dust than modern petrol cars. Exhaust emissions for electric cars are zero, but due to their weight, there is more wear on brakes, tires, and the road surface. The difference with diesel cars is even smaller because modern diesel cars emit less fine dust.”

    Taxation issue

    In Norway, a special road tax for heavy electric cars is already being considered. In Belgium, electric vehicles are exempt from road and inversion taxes.

    “The government earns about 20 billion euros a year from taxes on vehicles,” said Mark Pecqueur, lecturer in automotive technology at the Thomas More University.

    “Currently, electric cars pay zero euro tax, and so governments around the world are thinking about how they will value the fuel of the future. Taxing electric vehicles is a complex matter of kilometer charges and camera checks,” Pecqueur concludes.

    The Brussels Times