More noise needed for Electric Vehicles

More noise needed for Electric Vehicles


The European Commission wants to mandate the installation of acoustic vehicle alerting systems (AVAS) into all new electric vehicles (EV) to make them safer for pedestrians, cyclists, and the visually impaired.

The EC says the cars are effectively silent at low speeds and people cannot hear them, so an artificial engine noise needs to be installed to make them safer in the urban environment.

A consensus has been agreed within the EC which requires vehicle manufacturers to install AVAS in new types of vehicles within four years and then to all new vehicles within six.

It is expected the regulations will be adopted before the end of 2014, and they will set out what an AVAS is, how it will apply to pure electric vehicles as well as hybrid vehicles which use a combination of petrol and electric or diesel and electric power trains.

Renault which manufactures the zero emission Kangoo EV and the Zoe EV hatchback says it vehicles have a choice of sound systems fitted as standard equipment, drivers have a choice of two different AVAS sounds, sport or pure.

Mitsubishi does have an AVAS system fitted to its new Outlander plug-in electric hybrid vehicle which fires up at idle and low running speeds, while the Holden Volt has a system that can be operated manually in the same fashion as a car horn.

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