A law requiring manufacturers to install an acoustic sound system in new types of quiet electric and hybrid electric vehicles (EVs) came into force on Monday (1 July).
The new law is intended to improve road safety.
Sound generators will produce a specified level of noise when EVs are reversing or running below 20 km/h (about 12mph).
The law will apply to all silent EVs from 2021
The sound generated will be similar to that made by a conventional engine and can be temporarily deactivated by the driver if judged necessary.
The new regulation to make acoustic systems within electric vehicles compulsory intends to allow people who are visually impaired to hear vehicles more easily.
Roads minister Michael Ellis said, ‘The Government wants the benefits of green transport to be felt by everyone, and understands the concerns of the visually impaired about the possible hazards posed by quiet electric vehicles.
‘This new requirement will give pedestrians added confidence when crossing the road.’
The regulation will apply to all new types of ‘quiet’ electric and hybrid vehicles from 1 July, and to all new quiet electric and hybrid vehicles registered from July 2021.
This story first appeared on our sister publication, smarthighways.net.