Electric cars in the United States must make a noise to make it easier for pedestrians, especially blind people are able to detect their presence, under a law passed by Congress.
The law, approved Thursday by the House of Representatives, states that in 18 months, federal authorities adopt minimum levels of noise for electric and hybrid vehicles.
The adoption of the law occurs in the same week that Nissan and General Motors (GM) delivered the first units of their Volt and LEAF electric cars.
LEAF has an electric sound that is activated when the electric vehicle runs at low speed, while the Volt, which has a small combustion engine to generate electricity, emits a sound that is activated by the driver.
Following the adoption of the law, Mitch Pomerantz, president of the American Council for the Blind (ACB), said in a statement that “the passage of this legislation is transcendental and marks two years of vigorous advocacy by members” of that entity.
The law, which has been agreed with the automotive sector, U.S. lawmakers and the associations representing the blind in the country, states that the noise emitted electric vehicles will be such that its detection “in a reasonable manner.”
A driver may turn off the noise that is constant while the electric vehicle is in operation. Electric vehicle with lithium batteries do not emit CO2 or damage the environment if the electricity comes from renewables such as wind, solar photovoltaic and solar thermal or thermal.