Catlover

New Law -Hybrid cars must make a noise.

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As from Tomorrow, July 1st, an EU law stipulates new all electric and hybrid vehicles must have a sounder that replicates an engine noise must be fitted. Apparently, this noise must be emitted when the vehicles is travelling 12mph and under.

what I haven’t found out is.... does this apply from vehicles registered as from July 1st or made after that date. 

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I understand that the sounder must be carried by a person walking in front and carrying a red flag. 😁

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Topic on this posted earlier today - see below. Vehicles with new Type Approval require the Acoustic Vehicle Alert System from 1st July 2019, and all new vehicles from 1st July 2021.

Existing vehicles are not affected.

 

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I'm sure many of us have experienced a situation when driving at low speed, where folks just can't hear your Hybrid car & dangerously stroll in front of the car. When it first happened to me I was quite angry until my wife mentioned they just couldn't hear our car! However, although I'm totally in favour of getting something sorted, I just wish the ruling had come from our own government rather than the EU. They are right of course on this one!

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16 minutes ago, BhxTrev said:

I'm sure many of us have experienced a situation when driving at low speed, where folks just can't hear your Hybrid car & dangerously stroll in front of the car.

people do that even with a petrol car. Of course, it doesn't help that so many of them have earphones in these days ...

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Blimey Scott I hadn't thought of that one! You're quite right & yes I've had a close call with some idiot with headphones about to walk in front of my car. Although I still agree with making us 'heard' since we need to make sure our lovely quiet cars do make a noise at low speed then at least the finger of blame cannot be pointed at us. 

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The ones who will definitely benefit from a sound are, of course, those with impaired vision. I can only imagine what it must be like trying to live a life with impaired vision and what it must be like when you cannot see, and now hear, movement of traffic. Even a cyclist must be a real problem for them. The situation also highlights what a fantastic asset a trained dog can be to someone, but not everyone with impaired vision has access to a trained dog. Seems incredible that it has taken so long for some legislation to come into effect.

As for pedestrians crossing roads wearing ear plugs, that should be made an offence just like driving whilst using a mobile phone is, but there again, how many drivers ignore that law!

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As Scott mentioned, so many modern petrol cars are now are so quiet they are virtually unaudible at idle/crawl speed, even more so when combined with surrounding ambient noise..... so should they have sounders too?

I used to have one on my Zoe, but it would annoy the heck out of me as it was so audible inside the car and was noisier than an ICE outside.  It stopped after reaching 18MPH and there were 3 selectable noises, but they were all pretty bad, but I think the default 'Jetsons' one was probably the least intrusive.  In crawling nose to tail traffic I would turn it it off as it drove me nuts.

Of course it is a good thing for the visually impaired/hard of hearing, but no matter how loud a car is ICE or EV/Hybrid it won't make a jot of difference to people who have their heads burried in their phones walking along without a consideration for what/who is around them.  Bearing this in mind I am always very vigilant for vulnerable people in areas most open to this kind of thing, especially multi story car parks where people are often quite distracted and slow speed urban areas.

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In 10 years time they’ll be a big market to change the sound of EVs. V8 anyone? 

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I guess this means my soon to arrive Corolla hybrid will have this.  This only makes me sad that i won't experience silent running of a hybrid but of course it's a really good idea!

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10 minutes ago, bewA said:

I guess this means my soon to arrive Corolla hybrid will have this.

Not necessarily. If you read the topic linked to in the second post, it is only vehicles with new Type Approval from 1st July that are affected straight away. The Corolla's Type Approval will be before the 1st July. Legally they don't have to fit sound generators to the Corolla and Rav4 until 2021.

However, Toyota may have decided to comply with the legislation early and fit them early - though with previous legislation (eg TPMS, etc) they have tended to comply within a few months of the deadline, rather than 2 years before.

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My new RAV4 that arrived just over a week ago doesn't have it.

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I have heard a sounder on YouTube videos in US/Canada so I wonder it it will be the same unit and whether it’s able to be switched off temporarily?

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From what I've read, in the EU the sound generators cannot be switched off. Rather defeats the object of the exercise if they could.

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I think I read somewhere you can switch it off, but I suspect if you hit someone with the sound off you may be under scrutiny from enforcement and insurance.

Why would someone want to switch it off when its such a good safety feature.?

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12 hours ago, Heidfirst said:

 

people do that even with a petrol car. Of course, it doesn't help that so many of them have earphones in these days ...

Not forgetting all those with their eyes glued to their mobile, whether searching for the next music track, or map reading !!

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13 minutes ago, Catlover said:

I think I read somewhere you can switch it off, but I suspect if you hit someone with the sound off you may be under scrutiny from enforcement and insurance.

Why would someone want to switch it off when its such a good safety feature.?

It’s something to do with UK driving laws 

This is quoted from Wikipedia:

“The Leaf's electric warning sound had to be removed for cars delivered in the U.K., as the country's law mandates that any hazard warning sound must be capable of being disabled between 11:00 pm and 6:00 am”

I had a Leaf in 2015 and that didn’t make any noise in reverse but it did have a button to deactivate the sound when going forward. This had to be pressed each time the car was started.

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1 minute ago, Cjohnston1982 said:

had a Leaf in 2015 and that didn’t make any noise in reverse but it did have a button to deactivate the sound when going forward. This had to be pressed each time the car was started.

Yes this was the same in my Zoe that’s why I was interested to know. I guess we will find out in time. 

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Think the difference is that current vehicles don't have to comply with the new legislation - so the sound generators can be switched off. 

Same principle is used for daytime running lights, which are there to make the vehicle more visible to other road users and cannot be switched off.  

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What about when in a long slow-moving queue of traffic? In a decade or two when everybody will be driving EV/hybrid cars :wink: there'll be a right old racket assortment going on if they can't be disabled.

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1 minute ago, Duffryn said:

What about when in a long slow-moving queue of traffic? In a decade or two when everybody will be driving EV/hybrid cars :wink: there'll be a right old racket assortment going on if they can't be disabled.

I also thought of this ...

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It's usually quite a subtle noise. I drove a Leaf which apparently had it but didn't really notice the noise at all, at least from inside.

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A neighbour has a PHEV outlander and I can hear that coming before any ICE car, it makes a pretty load moaning sound   

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13 minutes ago, QuantumFireball said:

It's usually quite a subtle noise. I drove a Leaf which apparently had it but didn't really notice the noise at all, at least from inside.

You really notice it in multi-storey car parks. It’s quite loud

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The whole issue of creating this noise needs some serious research because it might be replacing one issue with another. Also it should be made illegal for people to walk along the public highway with earphones stuck in their ears. After all we're talking about safety issues here & surely that's nearly as bad as drivers using mobile phones while driving? 

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