Published: Wed, July 03, 2019
Markets | By Otis Pena

Electric cars: New vehicles to emit noise to aid safety

Electric cars: New vehicles to emit noise to aid safety

As part of the new rule, all types of four-wheel electric cars will be installed with a noise-emitting device, so that they will be audible in motion.

Quiet EVs or hybrid vehicles will generate sound to mimic a conventional engine when reversing or running below 20km/h.

The law now applies to new models but will extend to all electric vehicles by 2021.

While many of us see the quiet ride of electric cars as a benefit in cutting down noise pollution, the low noise can be seen as a danger for pedestrians, cyclists, and visually-impaired people who might not notice that there is a vehicle on the road.

New electric vehicles will be required to emit a specific noise, as of today, in order to make roads safer.

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The EU isn't the only regulator that's introducing fake noise rules around electric vehicles.

Some manufacturers, including Toyot and Jaguar, have already developed AVAS systems for their electric vehicles, while BMW has enlisted top film score composer Hans Zimmer to make driving sounds for the electric BMW Vision M Next concept auto.

Pedestrians can struggle to hear quiet electric and hybrid vehicles coming, which presents a particular risk for blind and visually impaired people. The sound should also give some clue as to what the vehicle is doing, for example accelerating. However it seems that electric cars are too quiet and an European Union law put into place will look to rectify this issue.

The government has announced plans to ban new petrol and diesel cars and vans being sold by 2040.

Owning to the figures released, alternatively-fuelled vehicles made up to 6.6% of the new auto market in the month of May, in comparison to 5.6% during the same month a year ago. According to a study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the risk of collision for pedestrians would be 19% greater with an electric vehicle than with a thermal model.

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