Requiring electric vehicles to make noise could turn off buyers

March 20, 2013 12:00 AM

A new piece of proposed legislation would require electric vehicles to emit a noise to alert pedestrians of the car's approach, but many manufacturers are fighting against the move. Many automakers believe the change would dissuade drivers from buying electric cars, as the warning noise may be too loud or unpleasant sounding.  

According to Green Car Reports, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) wants all electric and hybrid vehicles to utilize the noise when they are driving at speeds of up to 18.6 miles per hour. Most manufacturers are lobbying for a lower limit of no more than 12.4 miles per hour, as they claim the sound of tires becomes prevalent at that speed. 

"If implemented as proposed, [the law] would result in alert sounds that are louder than necessary, create driver and occupant annoyance and cost more than necessary," the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and Association of Global Automakers wrote in a complaint to the NHTSA, as quoted by The Detroit News

In fact, the law requires noises be louder than many sports cars, which the automakers proclaim is unfair and unnecessary. 

These regulations won't go into effect until September 2014, but people considering purchasing an electric or hybrid car or those who are currently driving one will certainly be keeping an eye on the developments. 

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