The Canadian government is to propose that all hybrid and electric vehicles (EV) produce a minimum level of noise to increase safety for all road users.
Government agency Transport Canada says hybrid and EVs have quiet engines and produce virtually no sound at low speeds, which can make their presence on roads hard to detect.
Under the proposed regulation, all hybrid and EVs would be equipped with an acoustic vehicle alert system (sound emitters) which produce noise at low speeds by 2023.
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.
Minister of transport Omar Alghabra says: "Our government is committed to protecting vulnerable road users, and by adding more sound to hybrid and electric vehicles, we can reduce collisions.”
Transport Canada explains that the regulations would apply to 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.
The proposed noise requirements align with US and international standards to offer flexibility to vehicle manufacturers, the agency adds.