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United Kingdom Issues Sound Requirements On Electric Vehicles

Parliament has passed legislation that will regulate all electric vehicles to emit sound for safety purposes.

Wikimedia Commons/Michael Movchin

In an effort to combat safety issues before the use of electric cars rises even further, Britain has passed a law that will require all electric vehicles to make a certain level of sound, similar to a traditional motor vehicle.

The law has taken into effect for all new electric hitting the roads going forward and all existing vehicles will need to be fitted for sound emission by 2021.

Advocacy groups for the visually impaired have argued that the vehicles are so quiet, they put the group at risk on the street because they are unable to hear them coming. 

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The advocacy group, Guide Dogs, said in their petition to Parliament:

The quiet nature of electric and hybrid vehicles means that they pose a danger to road users who cannot hear them approaching. Research published in November 2014 shows that electric and hybrid vehicles are 40 per cent more likely to be involved in a collision causing injury to a pedestrian than a conventional vehicle.

Car manufacturers will have the option to choose the sounds their vehicles will be equipped with, but it still must be similar in volume and sound of a regular gas-powered vehicle.

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