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Traffic Safety Regulations Will Not Allow Owners of Electric Vehicles to Pick Alert Sounds

Because electric vehicles are more difficult to hear at lower speeds than gasoline-powered engines, rules mandated by Congress and finalized by the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) require that manufacturers add sounds to hybrid and electric vehicles when they travel at speeds up to 18.6 miles per hour to “help prevent injuries among pedestrians, cyclists and the blind.” A proposal issued in 2019 by the NHTSA would have allowed automakers who manufacture electric vehicles to offer various sound choices for “electric vehicles and other ‘quiet cars.’” NHTSA has indicated that the proposal will not be adopted due to lack of data to support it, stating that it would have allowed manufacturers “to make more obscure sounds that only appeal to a small minority of (hybrid electric) owners.’” Noise, wind, and other issues preclude the need for a separate sound alert at higher speeds, according to the NHTSA. Read more about it from the Reuter News article: U.S. auto agency will not allow EV owners to pick alert sounds.