Newly-built electrified vehicles must all emit a noise under new European Union guidelines that are being enforced from the start of July.
This new rule applies to all four-wheeled, battery-powered and hybrid vehicles arriving on the market from July 1 onwards.
The system, called an Acoustic Vehicle Alert System (AVAS), must emit at least 56 decibels (dB) of noise at speeds under 12mph under the EU Regulation on the Sound Level of Motor Vehicles and EU Requirement ECE R138.
Noise control experts IAC Acoustics say that 60dB is equivalent to a conversation in an office or standing 100ft away from an air conditioning unit, which is about half the level of a vacuum cleaner.
The EU regulations state that the AVAS should emit a noise that is “a continuous one providing the vehicle driving behaviour to other road users and pedestrians” – meaning that when the vehicle speeds up or slows down, the dB level should increase and decrease with it, as well as staying constant in relation to the vehicle’s speed.
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