Revving up for the Electric Car
The electric car has increased in popularity over the years. With improvements to infrastructure, eg charging stations, and developments in technology, the electric car has become a viable choice for drivers wishing to reduce their carbon emissions. In fact, with some manufacturers opting to only produce hybrid or electric cars, they are likely to be the ONLY option in the not too distant future.
An electric car’s engine is not only cleaner but also a lot quieter. If fact, the sound emitted from an electric vehicle traveling below 12mph is almost zero.
But as from the 1st July 2019, all cars made in the EU will be required to have fake vehicle sounds added to them. This comes about as a result of campaigns and research by charities such as the RNIB and Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents.
Campaigners have been concerned about the safety of other road users, pedestrians and cyclists, and especially those with visual impairments. A lot of our road awareness comes from listening (who remember stop, look and listen?) and due to the fact an electric car is almost silent, campaigners urged the manufacturers to make changes and add the fake vehicle sounds, or Acoustic Vehicle Alert Systems (AVAs). The car must emit a sound of at least 56 decibels, which is similar to the sound of a normal conversation between a group of people.
It will take time to see if this change does work as hoped. The initiative has already been adopted in the United States and Norway, where further studies are already underway as to the success of the AVAs.
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