Automakers have successfully pressed the US government. UU To reject the application of a standard that requires hybrid and electric vehicles emit a noise when traveling at less than 19 miles per hour. Originally scheduled to take effect at the end of 2019, the deadline for automakers to add noise to all hybrids and electric vehicles in production is now September 2020. Meanwhile, only 50 percent of hybrid vehicles and A company's electrical products produced as of September 1, 2019, must emit a noise that complies with the rule.
This means that the first hybrids and electric vehicles to make noise compulsory will now be (some) model vehicles of the year 2020. But it is not certain that all these vehicles sound the same. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is also considering allowing cars to offer different sounds than a driver could choose, an idea the agency says will allow the public to comment later this year. NHTSA also loosened language in the rule that restricted sound variation between different brands, models and equipment levels.
Nissan also tried to reduce the cutting speed for the sound, but NHTSA rejected the request
The decision to delay the deadline for compliance occurs after several automakers and a trade association of the automotive industry filed requests for delay. Honda, General Motors, Auto Alliance and the Global Automobile Manufacturers Association (the last two are groups representing dozens of car companies and suppliers) requested a delay in early 2017. They argued that the short term would make it "very difficult" " if it is not impossible for manufacturers to comply with the schedule of incorporation of the final rule, "according to NHTSA.
While some electric motors emit low whistles or hums, EVs and hybrids are, in general, relatively quiet at low speeds compared to their combustion engine counterparts. The concern is that an increase of them on public roads, something that now seems inevitable as automakers commit to electrify their fleets to comply with government mandates around the world, could increase the number of injured pedestrians. A study conducted by NHTSA found that hybrid vehicles were involved in pedestrian crashes 1.18 times more than cars with combustion engines, so the agency estimates that requiring cars to produce artificial noise at low speeds could prevent 2,400 injuries each year .
NHTSA also rejected a request from Nissan to reduce the speed at which the sound will stop. Nissan wanted the cutting speed to be 12.4 miles per hour, but NHTSA said that "no new data or analysis was presented" by the company that were convincing enough to change the opinion of the agency. It's a strange move for Nissan, which has been one of the most expressive about how it wants to make its electric cars "sing" in the future. Anyway, the cutoff will remain at 18.6 miles per hour, the point at which the NHTSA believes that tires, wind and other noise become strong enough so that an artificial sound is no longer needed.