If there is one “problem” with electric vehicles in general is that they’re too quiet. It sounds like an odd problem, especially if you hate the idea of cars revving unnecessarily in the middle of the night or in the early mornings, but it is a problem because a car that’s too silent means that other motorists or pedestrians might not be aware of their presence.
However over in Europe, it seems that the EU has agreed that all EVs in the country must be outfitted with sound emitters by 2021. This means that even if their engines do not naturally make the same sounds as a gas-powered vehicle, then it must be mimicked using a sound emitter, especially when traveling slowly which is when the car is at its most quiet.
Why is this, you ask? Like we said the lack of sound, or at least compared to gas-powered cars, is dangerous especially if you’re a pedestrian. There has been at least one study that suggests that EVs are 40% more likely to hit a pedestrian than a conventional car. There have also been reports that those who are visually impaired tend to have problems with EVs too because at least with conventional cars, even those who might be visually impaired can hear cars coming down the road.
A report from The Guardian cites an example of how in Japan, a guide dog and its owner were killed by a reversing EV after its driver had disabled its sound emitter.