New EU rules say that electric cars must make a noise

Date posted: May 13, 2014

One thing that electric and hybrid car owners enjoy is the fact that their car produces little to no noise. But that may change as European Parliament has proposed rules in which electric cars should make noise so that they are safer for pedestrians and the visually impaired.

It was proposed that the cars should be fitted with devices to make them sound similar to traditional cars with combustion engines, something which has been welcomed by road safety campaigners.

The new law is expected to be passed by the European Council, so that by 2021, all new electric and hybrid cars will have to make a noise. Additionally, new models will have to make noise by 2019.

In addition to these new rules, MEPS also voted to tighten noise emission standards for all vehicles over the next decade, which would see noisier cars have a reduction in the amount of noise that they make.

Many car manufacturers such as Volkswagen, Nissan, and Vauxhall already include an option to have a noise emitter included in their electronic cars in response to drivers’ concerns about the quietness.

A spokesperson from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders said of the legislation: “The industry is supportive of moves to ensure vehicles can be heard. Many electric vehicles are already equipped with systems to alert pedestrians when travelling at low speeds, so this latest set of legislation will ensure a level playing field for all manufacturers as they develop new and existing vehicles.”

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