New electric vehicles must emit noise to aid safety

Cars, Driver Safety, Driving Awareness, EVs

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New electric vehicles will have to feature noise-emitting sound devices, under an EU rule coming into force today, Monday 1st July 2019.

The EU ruling follows existing concerns that low-emissions cars and vans are too quiet, putting pedestrians at risk as it is alleged that electric vehicles cannot be heard as they approach.

The hills are alive with the sound of electric

All new types of four-wheel electric vehicles must be fitted with the device, which sounds like a traditional engine, meaning environmentalists praying for reduced sound pollution in towns and cities will continue to hear engine noise, even in the countryside, meaning the hills will still be alive with the sound of music – just a new kind of genre: electronic synthesiser engine music called AVAS.

The acoustic vehicle electric system (AVAS) will be required to sound when reversing or travelling below 12mph. Something which can be heard on the Renault Zoe example below, whereby the vehicle will mimic engine noise up to 15mph and then gradually fade out the synthersised noise beyond 19mph when it then becomes mechanical electric motor noise.

The EU says the cars are most likely to be near pedestrians when they are backing up or driving slowly, although drivers will have the power to deactivate the sound emitting devices if they think it is necessary.

Safety for all

Michael Ellis said the government wanted “the benefits of green transport to be felt by everyone” and understood the concerns of the visually impaired.

“This new requirement will give pedestrians added confidence when crossing the road,” he added.

From 2021 all new electric cars must have an AVAV, not just new models, meaning pedestrians distracted by gadgets and gizmos can breathe a sigh of relief when crossing the road.

In other news, the government has announced plans to ban new diesel and petrol cars and vans being sold by 2040.

Currently, alternatively-fuelled vehicles statistic make up 6.6% of the new car market in May, compared with 5.6% during the same month in 2018 according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

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