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Electric Cars To Be Fitted With Sound Effects To Warn Pedestrians

Amelia Ward

| Last updated 

Electric Cars To Be Fitted With Sound Effects To Warn Pedestrians

In a bid to keep pedestrians safe, new electric vehicles will be fitted with a device that makes it sound like a normal engine.


The rule, which comes into effect as of today, has been brought in following concerns being raised about the cars being too quiet. The low-emission engines don't make much noise, which some say puts pedestrians, especially those who are visually impaired at risk, as they can't hear them approaching.

The new noise-emitting devices will mimic the sound of a traditional engine and must be fitted as standard on all types of new four-wheel electric vehicles.


Existing models will need to have one fitted by July 2021

The cars need to make sounds when reversing or travelling below 12mph.

The whole thing was started when charity Guide Dogs submitted a request to parliament to look into the issue. The charity explained that even partially sighted people who have guide dogs have to use their hearing to decide when to cross roads.

Credit: Guide Dogs
Credit: Guide Dogs

The written request to Parliament read: "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.

"Contrary to popular belief, it is up to guide dog owners rather than guide dogs to make the decision of when it is safe to cross roads, using their hearing to detect whether cars are approaching. It is therefore essential that vehicles are audibly detectable for guide dog owners to be able to cross roads safely."

The EU regulations say that manufacturers are able to decide and design what their exact noise will be, but that it should be similar to a normal combustion engine, and also no louder than a standard one.

Nissan debuted their new car and the sound it makes back in 2017.


The Japanese car makers created the sound in the hope that it would appeal to drivers who aren't keen on how quiet electric cars are.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: UK News, News, Cars

Amelia Ward
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