Canada proposes noise requirements for hybrid and electric vehicles to protect vulnerable road users
Hybrid and electric vehicles have quiet engines and produce virtually no sound at low speeds, which can make their presence on our roads hard to detect. Research shows this lack of sound poses an increased risk of collision to road users such as visually impaired Canadians, cyclists, and pedestrians.
While many automakers have already voluntarily added sound emitters to hybrid and electric vehicles, Transport Canada’s new proposed regulation would make it the law and would outline specific standards.
Under the proposed regulations, all hybrid and electric vehicles would be equipped with an Acoustic Vehicle Alert System (sound emitters) which produce noise at low speeds. The volume and pitch from these sound emitters will vary depending on vehicle speed to allow road users to hear if a vehicle is speeding up or slowing down.
These regulations would make sure all hybrid and electric vehicles sold in Canada will be equipped with sound emitters by 2023. All hybrid and electric passenger cars, multi-purpose passenger cars, trucks, buses, and low-speed vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of 4,536 kg or less would be required to comply with the proposed minimum noise regulations. ■