The benefits of an electric vehicle almost always outweigh those of cars with a combustion engine. However, one difference between the two types of cars is either a plus or a minus depending on your point of view. That difference is the amount of noise (or lack thereof) an electric car makes compared to a car with a combustion engine.
EVs are noticeably quieter than their combustion engine counterparts. And while that’s a win when it comes to noise pollution, the European Union says EV’s quiet factor makes them potentially more dangerous to pedestrians as people can’t hear as well when an electric vehicle is approaching. Matter of fact, research has shown that EVs are up to 40% more likely to be involved in an accident with a pedestrian.
As the BBC reports, as of today the EU now mandates that all electric and hybrid vehicles sold in the bloc must include an Acoustic Vehicle Alert System (AVAS). An AVAS will automatically generate a noise from a hybrid or electric vehicle when that vehicle is moving less than 12 miles per hour.
The EU legislation allows car manufacturers to decide what their AVAS sounds like, but it says the sound should be similar to and no louder than the sound a car with a combustion engine makes. So sorry, folks, no flying car-like sound effects from The Jetsons or the sound of a TIE fighter whooshing by.
While all new models of hybrid and electric vehicles sold must have AVAS from today, manufacturers will be required to add them to all existing hybrid and electric vehicles by July 2021.