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US regulators delay noise mandate for EVs and hybrids (again)

Automakers now have until late 2020 to implement the noise.
Swapna Krishna, @skrishna
February 28, 2018
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Rebecca Cook / Reuters

Electric cars are considerably quieter than their gasoline-powered counterparts, but that's not always a good thing. Pedestrians, especially those who have visual impairments, often rely on audible cues to signal an approaching vehicle. That's why a law was proposed in 2013 to add noise to electric vehicles and hybrids traveling under 18.6 miles per hour. It was supposed to go into effect in late 2015, but it was delayed. Now, it's been delayed again.

According to the Federal Register, the law will now take effect on September 1st, 2020, pushed back from late 2019. All EVs and hybrids produced on after the effective date must have a minimum sound. Starting on September 1st, 2019, 50 percent of hybrid and electric vehicles produced by any manufacturer must meet the standard.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Department of Transportation implemented the delay (again) in response to carmakers such as Honda and General Motors. Apparently, there are "several reasons related to vehicle design, development, and manufacturing that will make it very difficult if not impossible for manufacturers to meet the final rule's compliance phase-in schedule," according to the NHTSA's report.

In this article: electricvehicle, evs, gear, transportation
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