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According to a new rule, electric vehicles in Europe have to make artificial engine noise. The new rule was brought into effect on 01 July 2019 for all new electric cars sold in the European Union. Electric vehicles already sold by manufacturers will have to be retrofitted with kits to emit a fake noise of an internal combustion engine.
Electric vehicles are no longer just the future. The EV industry is seeing massive growth all across the world and more people are buying EVs today than ever before. Some people were hopeful of seeing a really quiet future with these electric vehicles.
However, their hope appears to have been cut short now with the new rule that required even electric vehicles to emit sounds through a device called the Acoustic Vehicle Alert System (AVAS).
Research has found that electric cars and hybrids were 40 percent more susceptible to crashes than cars powered by internal combustion engines. This is due to the fact that electric cars are too silent and people around it are almost always unaware of an EVs presence.
The AVAS system mandated for electric vehicles is designed to function while the vehicle is doing speeds of below 20km/h. This basically means the system will be activated in crowded urban areas.
The mandate also requires the system to be active while the car is being reversed. Manufacturers have been given the freedom to decide on the kind of sound the car should be producing. Manufacturers have naturally have gone for the internal combustion engine's sound.
The mandate also states that it is not required for those electric cars equipped with reversing alarms to have the AVAS activated while reversing. The sound emitted by the AVAS should be synchronised with the car's speed.
The European Union isn't the only governing authority to have found the necessity for such a system. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in the USA has also mandated that electric cars and hybrids should be equipped with a sound emitting device.
Thoughts On Europe Mandates Electric Cars To Produce Sounds To Alert Pedestrians & Motorists
The sense of hearing is not only used to communicate but sounds are actually what warns us most of the time. We are used to hearing vehicles making sounds and have grown familiar with those sounds.
There are a few cars like Rolls-Royces and Bentleys that barely make any sounds, but we hear them coming thanks to their tyres. Most electric cars ride on low-resistance tyres that are also quiet.
Hence, it makes sense to see such a mandate coming into play, especially at a time when the electric vehicle industry is booming. This mandate has currently been imposed only on cars and it isn't clear yet, if it would be imposed on electric scooters and bikes too.
In our opinion, the electric two-wheelers need such a system too as they are small, fast and silent - potentially dangerous. Revolt Motors recently revealed and opened pre-bookings for the RV 400 which is India's first electric motorcycle. The Revolt RV 400 comes with switchable exhaust sounds, produced by a speaker. Should the AVAS be mandated on electric vehicles in India too?