US puts on hold the ‘louder’ rule for hybrids and electric cars image

Hybrid and electric cars will remain quiet until next year, as the US regulators are postponing the law that would make the “green” cars loud and clear.

Nothing runs quieter than an electric car in the automotive industry, and hybrids are also silent for a couple of miles until their batteries need to be recharged by the internal combustion engine. So, there is a chance that those cars could drive pass you and you would never notice. And this is a concern, from the safety point of view. Therefore, the EVs need to be louder. There are many discussions on the subject and a regulation is on the authorities’ agenda for some time. But US regulators are delaying rules that would require electric and hybrid cars to audio alert pedestrians and bicyclists until at least mid-March, according to a recent government document.

The estimates made by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show a 19 percent higher risk for an incident between hybrid vehicles and pedestrians compared with an internal combustion engine-powered vehicle. If such “audio” regulations apply, 2,800 pedestrian and bicyclist are to be saved from injuries annually, the safety regulator say. Under a 2010 law passed by Congress, the NHTSA was supposed to finalize the regulations by January 2014. Automakers will get a minimum of 18 months from the time the rules are finalized before they must begin adding the alerts. The Agency’s Administrator Mark Rosekind said in July the regulation would be finalized by November – a timetable the agency says in a new government document it will not be able to meet.

Via Reuters