Electric vehicles (EVs) are truly the future—one of the most sustainable alternative-energy automotive innovations of the century. But as these increase in number and become more common sightings, there is still one such problem that must be addressed: safety.
EVs don’t produce the same noise as traditional combustion engines do. Remember Tony Stark’s Audi in Avengers: Endgame? Due to their quiet nature, electric cars certainly pose a danger to pedestrians, especially among the visually impaired, as well as to drivers of other vehicles, regardless of location or driving speeds. This is one issue that the European Union (EU) now wishes to address.
According to a report by the BBC, all new models of electric cars sold in the EU should be installed with an Acoustic Vehicle Alert System (AVAS) starting July 2019—that’s this month. These systems must produce a sound when the vehicle is backing up, or is driving below 19kph.
The new policy allows manufacturers to specify exactly how their EVs will sound, but the sound produced must be similar to and not louder than that produced by a regular combustion engine. The EU is also requiring all existing EVs—not just new models—to be equipped with AVAS by 2021.
“This new requirement will give pedestrians added confidence when crossing the road,” said roads minister Michael Ellis.