Electric car manufacturers must ensure that their quiet models simulate noise to improve safety, new EU policy states.
The sound generated will be similar to that made by a conventional engine and can be temporarily deactivated by the driver if judged necessary.
From this month, new cars built in the UK must be fitted with an ‘acoustic sound system’ when reversing or driving below 12mph.
The new regulation is designed to improve the safety of the visually impaired, allowing them to hear vehicles more easily.
“The government wants the benefits of green transport to be felt by everyone, and understands the concerns of the visually impaired about the possible hazards posed by quiet electric vehicles,” said Michael Ellis, Roads Minister.
“This new requirement will give pedestrians added confidence when crossing the road.”
The regulation applies to all new types of ‘quiet’ electric and hybrid vehicles from 2019, and to all new quiet electric and hybrid vehicles registered from July 2021.