Buyers plying the online forums for Rivian's electric pickup and SUV frequently mention a common complaint — the tires wear out too quickly.
One Colorado Rivian driver loaded his truck with two motorcycles and hit the road. About 6,000 miles later, nearly a tenth of an inch of rubber had worn off his front tires. That rubber is out there somewhere in the form of microscopic particles. Other electric vehicle buyers are experiencing the same result.
EVs may have eliminated tailpipe emissions, but their hefty curb weights are exacerbating another type of pollution that is raising concern among scientists and environmentalists.
It's long been known that tires emit pollution. As they roll across pavement, abrasion causes particles of rubber and other substances to separate. Eventually these particles — some as small as a human cell — end up in air, water and in living beings. Scientists in Washington state linked a chemical called 6PPD, used in all tires to prevent cracking, to the premature deaths of salmon. The 6PPD washed off roads and into streams during rainstorms and then was ingested by the fish.