Silent engines are apparently lethal for pedestrians and cyclists.
Last week, new legislation was passed by the European Parliament, ruling that all hybrid and electric makers must add artificial engine noise to their models in order to protect pedestrians and cyclists. Apparently, these vehicles are 66 percent more likely to hit cyclists and 37 percent more likely to run over pedestrians as compared to fuel-powered cars, when cruising at speeds below 35mph. Thus, all EU-spec cars will add acoustic vehicle altering systems (AVAS) to make some electrifying noise.
This ruling followed a long debate, one which has also been heard in the US but has yet to lead to any final legislation on our shores.For the moment, it seems the AVAS systems will produce artificial engine noise, after options like chirping sounds or tire swooshing tunes were ruled out. The legislation met with criticism from electric and hybrid vehicle makers, who claim the systems will annoy their tree-hugging drivers. But if these systems can be custom-ordered, we'll take our Tesla with a V-8 roar, thank you.