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The discretion of electric motor vehicles is being questioned

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Electric vehicles have proven to be particularly quiet, which is something city dwellers appreciate. Who doesn’t dream of a city where noise pollution is significantly reduced? Numerous testimonials and research studies have nevertheless shown the problems linked to this absence of noise. The EU imposes the AVAS for 2021. We tell you more about it below.

It turns out that the hushed engine of electric cars is particularly problematic for pedestrians, especially the visually impaired or blind, as well as cyclists. In 2019, the European Union introduced a new regulation for electric vehicles: they must now include a noise emitter.

AVAS: the acoustic warning system for electrified vehicles

According to EU research, motor vehicles are incredibly close to the penalty when reversing and when their speed is reduced.

This transmitter (AVAS: Acoustic Vehicle Alert System) must therefore be heard when the driver engages reverse gear or drives below 20km/h. The aim is to ensure that passers-by are alerted to the presence of the motorist.

After a challenging year for the automobile market and the new legislation in force on emissions, manufacturers will have to ensure that models put into circulation from 1 July 2021 will incorporate the AVAS.
Debates are being voiced on the value of electric vehicles producing constant noise to announce their presence.

While electric vehicle manufacturers have spent several years promoting how quiet their vehicles are, they will have to rethink this strategy to keep up with the new characteristics of their cars.
A good example of advertising focusing on the silent aspect of electric vehicles is the ad broadcast by Jaguar in 2018.

Frank Welsh (Volkswagen) spoke in May 2019 on this point. He believes that the absence of noise produced by e-cars is part of their DNA. For him, this sound will have to be disruptive concerning the noise emitted by combustion vehicles to stick to the futuristic image of the product.
Manufacturers are all using their imagination to make the sound of their vehicles stick to the image of the latter: bass muffled sound to be heard by passers-by without disturbing the passengers, acoustic sound, collaboration with musicians, and so on.

All manufacturers agree on the importance of defining a sound that fits the identity of the car and the brand. So, we can expect some pleasant surprises and maybe even a few frights when discovering certain sounds for the first time during a drive.

Nissan, who had anticipated its research on the subject, has already integrated a sound on its Canto model in 2017, in particular following safety directives.

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