Imagine an Electric Car That’s No Longer Silent: What Do You Think?

Since July 1, 2019, a significant change has taken effect in the European automotive industry, sparking a conversation about electric vehicles and their silence.

The European Union has taken the initiative to require electric car manufacturers to implement artificial noise in their vehicles to address safety concerns and contribute to pedestrian safety.

Safety First !

One of the features often highlighted when it comes to electric vehicles is their near-silent operation. However, this absence of traditional mechanical noise can pose a safety issue, particularly for pedestrians and cyclists.

For example, people who are blind or visually impaired often rely on the noise of cars to safely cross roads.


This is where the new European Union regulation comes in. Automotive manufacturers are now required to equip their electric cars with an artificial noise system, commonly known as the “Acoustic Vehicle Alerting System” or “AVAS.”

The goal is to make electric cars more audible at low speeds, emitting a sound that resembles the noise of a traditional engine.

The AVAS is designed to be active at speeds below approximately 20 km/h, i.e., typical city driving speeds. As speed increases, the artificial noise gradually decreases, reflecting the quieter nature of electric cars at higher speeds. Here’s an example:

How about the peacefulness

This new regulation raises important questions concerning the safety of pedestrians and cyclists but also ignites debates within the electric car enthusiast community.

Some see the silence of electric cars as a unique advantage, creating a peaceful and less intrusive driving experience in urban soundscapes. Others argue that public safety should come first and that artificial noises are a necessary step to ensure the safety of all road users.

It’s important to note that car manufacturers have some leeway in choosing the artificial sound emitted by their vehicles. This means there could be a variety of sounds emitted by different electric car brands, adding a unique touch to each model.


In the end, implementing artificial noises in electric vehicles is a pragmatic response to safety issues raised by the silence of these vehicles. It also shows how the automotive industry is continuously adapting to reconcile new technologies with road safety.

As electric cars continue to gain popularity, striking a balance between innovation and safety is crucial for the well-being of all road users.

Considering this new European regulation, it’s interesting to wonder: how would you react to such regulation in Quebec?

Would you be thrilled to hear your electric car emit artificial noise at low speeds, or would you prefer to enjoy its characteristic silence? Feel free to share your thoughts and opinions on this major development in the field of electric cars.

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Photo by Dmitry Novikov on Unsplash