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Electric cars must get noisier, ICE cars must get quieter

Sun, 06 Apr 2014

Electric cars will have to make a noise to protect pedestrians

It’s four years since the Lotus solution for making electric cars noisy raised its head, since when the US has had a go at the Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act in 2010 to do the same thing, the Japanese are playing too, and Toyota revealed the Prius Vehicle Notification System, and now the EU has decided its time to act to make EVs emit ‘noise’. Despite the most appealing part of an EV being that it makes our cities quieter, legislators worry about the blind, partially sighted and distracted pedestrian (think earphones and a Smartphone) being mowed down by a stalking electric car and feel the need to act.

So the European Parliament has decided that by 2019 new models of electric vehicle will have to make a noise in cities, and that by 2021 all new hybrids and electrics must be noisy too.

And it seems EU legislators have taken the sensible route of demanding EVs sound like an ICE car – rather than emitting silly Star Trek noises, as many have proposed – by fitting an Acoustic Vehicle Alerting System that will mimic the noise of an internal combustion engine.

But it’s not just electric cars that are being targeted by EU legislators, as the EU also plans to reduce the noise cars, vans, buses and coaches with ICE engines can make by 4dB and lorries by 3dB, a move the EU reckons will reduce noise in cities by 25 per cent.

By Cars UK