Electric vehicles must emit noise from 2019
From July 2019, all electric and hybrid vehicles sold in Europe will be required to emit a noise when travelling below 12mph.
Currently, all models fall totally silent or emit a barely audible level of noise when travelling along at these low speeds.
This can pose a serious risk to people who’re blind or partially sighted as well as those cyclists and pedestrians with headphones in.
One particular study featured in The Guardian suggests that a staggering 93% of blind and partially sighted people have experience problems with electric vehicles.
Once installed, this feature will automatically kick in once the vehicle drops below 12mph and then cut out once it gets up over that speed and the sound of the tyres become sufficiently loud enough.
Electric vehicles built after this date will arrive with it already built in but existing vehicles will be gradually retrofitted.
“It (the noise) has two unique characteristics,” said Chris Hanson-Abbot, founder of leading vehicle safety firm Brigade Electronics.
“One is that it’s very pleasant on the ear and the second is that the source direction of that sound is instantly recognisable. The moment you hear white sound you can point directly at where it’s coming from. This is an incredibly valuable quality.”
About 140,000 electric vehicles are now registered in Britain compared with just 3,500 in 2013. By 2030, the National Grid predicts there could be as many as 9 million electric vehicles on Britain’s roads.
Source: The Guardian