New electric and hybrid cars will have to emit engine-like noises by 2019. That's according to a mandate from the European Commission, which wants all new electric vehicles to increase their noise in order to drive down accidents involving deaf or blind pedestrians.
That means models like the VW e-Up, where a sound symposer is currently optional, will have to offer the system as standard across Europe, although Volkswagen officials told Autocar that implementing the new ruling would be "no problem". Other manufacturers including Renault have welcomed the plan. The firm's Zoe EV already comes equipped with sound symposers. However, the Twizy currently doesn't.
Elsewhere, Vauxhall said the sound system equipped on its Ampera had been "designed with blind people in mind", while Nissan had developed the sounds in its Leaf model "in response to public concern about the quietness of EVs and hybrids". The Leaf's sound symposer works at speeds below 25mph and can also be turned off by the driver, something which wouldn't be allowed under the new rules.
The European Council is expected to give the legislation a green light in the coming months, with the plan already meeting with the approval of the European Parliament.