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Electric cars must make noise, rules European Commission

EU imposes new deadline for manufacturers to fit their electric cars with sound symposers in order to reduce road accidents
Electric cars must make noise by 2019, rules European Commission
Electric cars like the Renault Twizy, which don’t emit sounds naturally, will have to by law by 2019

by Autocar
4 April 2014 12:07pm

New electric and hybrid cars will have to emit engine-like noises by 2019. That’s according to a mandate from the European Commission, which wants all new electric vehicles to increase their noise in order to drive down accidents involving deaf or blind pedestrians.

That means models like the VW e-Up, where a sound symposer is currently optional, will have to offer the system as standard across Europe, although Volkswagen officials told Autocar that implementing the new ruling would be “no problem”. Other manufacturers including Renault have welcomed the plan. The firm’s Zoe EV already comes equipped with sound symposers. However, the Twizy currently doesn’t.

Elsewhere, Vauxhall said the sound system equipped on its Ampera had been “designed with blind people in mind”, while Nissan had developed the sounds in its Leaf model “in response to public concern about the quietness of EVs and hybrids”. The Leaf’s sound symposer works at speeds below 25mph and can also be turned off by the driver, something which wouldn’t be allowed under the new rules.


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