One of the selling points of hybrid and electric vehicles, aside from being Eco-friendly and fuel efficient, are how quiet they are. But apparently being too quiet is a problem. Under a new rule released Monday by the Obama administration, new hybrid and electric cars are required to make noise when travelling at low speeds. The purpose of this rule is because pedestrians; especially those who are blind or have poor eyesight will be able to hear them.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there are currently 2400 pedestrian injuries a year which relates to how quiet hybrid and electric vehicles are. Electric motors make very little noise compared to gasoline and diesel engines. The rule will require hybrid and electric vehicles to make audible noise when travelling in reverse or forward at speeds up to about 19 mph. At higher speeds it isn't a factor since tires, wind noise and other factors provides some sort of noise warning. Manufacturers have until Sept 1, 2019 to equip all new hybrid and electric vehicles with sounds that meet the new federal safety standard.