Electric Vehicles too silent for the U.S.

 

Silent but deadly

It’s official. Too much of a good thing can, in fact, be a bad thing. The U.S National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has ordered electric and hybrid-fuel vehicles to make some sort of noise when traveling at speeds 19mph (30km) or lower. The otherwise boastful aspect of these vehicles – their silence – has now become an issue of pedestrian safety.

toyota-prius-signal-pedestrian

Image courtesy of insideevs.com

 

A welcome turn of events for the impaired

When traveling at moderate to higher speeds, the wind resistance and tire noises are enough to warn pedestrians of the oncoming machines. Under 30km, pedestrians, especially those with sense impairments, have difficulty hearing and seeing the approaching EVs. While it has yet to become clear what kind of noise these vehicles will make, it will surely make everyone breathe a little bit easier.

Manufacturers have until September 1, 2019 to comply. It will be interesting to see how they respond to this new mandate in the years to come.

Will Canadian governments follow suit? Only time will tell.