02 July, 2019

EVs ordered to improve safety for pedestrians

Carmakers selling electric vehicles (EVs) in the EU must ensure they emit a sound. The move is aimed at improving safety for pedestrians.

‘This new requirement will give pedestrians added confidence when crossing the road.’

Sound generators will be in use when specified vehicles are reversing or running at a speed below 12mph. The sound made will mimic that of a more traditional internal combustion engine (ICE).

Michael Ellis, UK Minister of State for Transport, said: ‘The Government wants the benefits of green transport to be felt by everyone, and understands the concerns of the visually impaired about the possible hazards posed by quiet electric vehicles.

‘This new requirement will give pedestrians added confidence when crossing the road.’

Acoustic Vehicle Alerting Systems (AVAS) will be attached to select vehicles, but must be easily accessible to be switched on and off at driver discretion.

Germany will be providing €100 for the instalment of AVAS systems to vehicles as part of its German Umweltbonus environmental grant.

Visual aides

The new regulation will help people who are visually impaired to hear vehicles. Research has shown that pedestrians are 40% more likely to be hit by an EV than by an ICE vehicle in the UK.

‘After years of campaigning on this issue, we welcome the new regulations coming into force, which will ensure that all new electric vehicles have audible warning sounds.’

Hugh Huddy, Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) Policy Manager, said: ‘The very low sound levels on electric and hybrid vehicles make them a potential danger to blind and partially sighted pedestrians like me, because we need the sound of a vehicle to know it is there.

‘After years of campaigning on this issue, we welcome the new regulations coming into force, which will ensure that all new electric vehicles have audible warning sounds.’