Those silent hybrid and electrics cars will soon be a thing of the past.
On Monday, the U.S. government announced plans to require all hybrids and EVs to emit noise when travelling at low speeds. The move is designed to help prevent collisions with pedestrians who can’t hear the vehicle coming, as would be the case with traditional gasoline or diesel vehicles.
The situation is even worse for pedestrians who are blind or can’t see very well.
The new rule, which would come into effect on Sept. 1, 2019, requires a hybrid of EV to emit an audible sound at low speeds up to about 30 kilometres per hour.
Above that speed, the sound will not be required because tire and wind noise already provide a warning, the new regulations say.
The new regulations stipulate that half of all new hybrids and EVs must be equipped with the new safety feature a year before the Sept. 1, 2019 deadline.
“We all depend on our senses to alert us to possible danger,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in announcing the new safety regulations. “With more, quieter hybrid and electrical cars on the road, the ability for all pedestrians to hear as well as see the cars becomes an important factor of reducing the risk of possible crashes and improving safety.”