What’s The Truth On EV Brake Claim?

Wed 23rd Mar 2022

While some leading motoring experts have claimed that electric vehicles have more emissions from their brakes and tyres, a new study commissioned by the RAC looks to have poured water on the claims.

The issue around EV emissions arose after some suggested that due to the heavier weight of an electric vehicle, due its large battery, that brake and tyre degradation was far more significant, and led to more particulates entering the atmosphere than from traditional ICE engines. The worries and concerns have even been discussed in Parliament, with Environment Secretary George Eustice admitting that the issues and impact were ‘slightly unknown’.

But findings from an RAC report have given evidence which suggests that EV brakes actually out perform normal vehicles. The RAC worked with leading ‘electrochemist’ Dr Euan McTurk to test the potentially damaging theories, and he found that the claims were baseless.

“Dundee Taxi Rentals says that brake pads on its 11 Nissan Leaf taxis have a lifespan of 80-100,000 miles – four times that of their diesel taxis. Discs tend to be changed due to warping rather than wear unlike on a conventionally fuelled vehicle, and last twice as long as those on diesel taxis,” Dr McTurk said.

“In addition, Cleevely EV, one of the best-known EV mechanics in the UK based in Cheltenham, regularly sees EVs with brakes that have lasted over 100,000 miles. The company says if they ever need to replace an EV’s brakes, it’s not because of wear but because they’ve seized up due to lack of use.”

The technology used in braking on EVs also helps protect the longevity of the pads, with regenerative braking slowing the car using the engine.

The same analysis did acknowledge slight concerns on front tyres, but rear ryres perform the same as any other. Dr McTurk said: “Dundee Taxi Rentals reports that the lifespan of the front tyres on their all-electric front-wheel drive Nissan Leafs is about 5,000 to 10,000 miles less than their diesel taxis but, more positively, the rear tyres last the same amount of time, typically covering 30-36,000 miles before needing to replaced.”