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article imageEU to require all EVs to make artificial sounds below 12 mph

By Ken Hanly     Jul 1, 2019 in Technology
All new model electric vehicles (EVs) in the European Union are now required to make artificial noise under certain conditions. Acoustic Vehicle Alerts Systems (AVAS) will be mandatory on all hybrid and electric EVs by July 2021.
Conditions under which the EV's must make a sound
A BBC News article notes: "New electric vehicles will have to feature a noise-emitting device, under an EU rule coming into force on Monday. It follows concerns that low-emission cars and vans are too quiet, putting pedestrians at risk because they cannot be heard as they approach. All new types of four-wheel electric vehicle must be fitted with the device, which sounds like a traditional engine. A car's acoustic vehicle alert system (Avas) must sound when reversing or traveling below 12mph (19km/h)."
The rule will apply to both all-electric and hybrid vehicles introduced from today on. Existing vehicles must install the AVAS system by July of 2021.
New regulations are due to safety concerns
Electric vehicles are a lot quieter than tradition internal combustion engines. This can pose a danger to other road users in that people do not hear them coming. This is particularly true for blind or partially sighted pedestrians. In November of 2017 the charity Guide Dogs sent a written submission to the UK parliament pointing out that research shows that electric and hybrid vehicles are 40 percent more likely to be involved in accidents that cause injury to pedestrians.
Manufacturers will be able to decide exactly what their AVAS will be like. However, the EU regulations require that the sound should be similar too but not louder than that of tradition internal combustion engines. The sound should also give some clue as to what the vehicle is doing, for example accelerating. Jaguar has already made public what its I-Pace will sound like as indicated on the appended video. Nissan introduced a concept vehicle back in 2017 that "sings" as it travels.
The US will introduce similar laws new year
The US National Highway Safety Administration will require that all hybrid and all-electric vehicles emit artificial noise by September of 2020. The US regulations require the vehicles emit the noise to a somewhat higher speed than in the EU, of 18.6 miles per hour.
More about AVAS, electric vehicles, European union
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