News & Opinion | July 2, 2019 11:27 am

New and Existing Electric Cars in the EU Must Now Make Fake Noise

Each manufacturer will be left to decide for itself what its cars will sound like

Electric car sounds
All Electric cars in the EU and America must now have fake noise technology. (Fredrik Bjerknes/ Bloomberg via Getty)
Bloomberg via Getty Images

All newly manufactured hybrid and electric vehicles made in the after Monday must be equipped with Acoustic Vehicle Alert Systems — which also have to be added to all existing models currently on the road within the European Union by July 2021.

The Acoustic Vehicle Alert Systems, or AVAS, create a fake noise that mimics the sound made by cars with internal combustion engines when traveling under 12-miles-per-hour, The Verge reported. The systems are a safety feature designed to warn pedestrians of an oncoming car, which is especially important to those who deal with crossing the roads while being partially or entirely blind.

Each manufacturer will be left to decide for itself what its cars will sound like, according to The Verge, but the EU’s new law says that it should be similar to — and not much louder than —  the way its gas-guzzling cousins sound. These sounds must also coincide with what the car is doing, like speeding up or slowing down.

In the U.S., the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced last February that all electric and hybrid cars in the country must adopt a similar artificial noise by September 2020.

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