Silent Electric Vehicles Required by Law to Make Some Noise Starting 2020

Electric cars to emit warning sounds at low speeds 1 photo
When the first hybrid and electric vehicles first began taking to the streets in the late 2000s, the automotive industry found itself in an unlikely dilemma: quietness, the trait so sought after by many in automotive building was more of a nuisance for EVs.
Ever since 2009, people began complaining that no-noise cars are a threat to their bodily integrity, as the damn things can sneak up behind the dreaming pedestrian without making themselves heard. Slowly, this idea snowballed until it finally ended up being put down in mandatory writing.

According to Insurance Journal, the U.S. Department of Transportation completed on Monday the set of rules that will govern noise-making in electric vehicles. To come into effect starting September 2020, these rules would require all automakers to envision for their cars some type of device which, at low speeds (18.6 mph or 30 km/h) would emit a sound to alert pedestrians of the impending danger.

As per the regulations, by that date 50 percent off all silent electric vehicles will have to have sound-making devices. According to U.S. regulators, these devices may prevent some 2,400 injuries by the end of the decade and save some $320 million in medical costs.

The NHTSA says the new regulations would cost the industry an estimated $40 million each year, as the rules require the sound to be emitted by an external waterproof speaker. It is unclear at this point how much the sound emitting devices would add to the price tags of the electric vehicles.

Interestingly enough, regulators said they are considering allowing carmakers to provide several different sounds from which drivers to choose from.

Now, depending on the carmakers’ imagination, we may end up hearing the Nissan Leaf falling off a tree, the Chevy Volt buzzing happily down the road, or the Renault Zoe babbling at the men in front of it.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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