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The great EVs noise debate

25 July 2011

By Robin Haycock, Head of Transport, The Climate Group. 

So the Department for Transport has decided to dismiss the idea of artificial noises on EVs, as they will make 'little impact' against background noise, and they have an insightful report to match.

This is a fascinating debate and I am glad the UK government is taking a measured approach to this subject via analysis and testing. Having driven many electric cars in cities now, I do see a tendency for people to step out in front of me, but what this shows is that when people take care, then the risk is minimal.

The main people I have had a problem with are the ones that don’t look and have earphones in their ears. These people are not helping themselves and are dangerous to not only themselves, but car drivers that have to take evasive action, and particularly cyclists, of which I am one, and have nearly injured myself avoiding this kind of person.

As we move to higher proportions of cars on the road that do emit minimal noise ion our cities (and that includes vehicles like the Prius that doesn’t have to make a fake noise), we will live work and play in a far more pleasant environment – let alone the reduced pollution achieved through using zero emission vehicles (at point of use).

So we should continue to work with affected groups such as visually impaired to understand the issues and react in a practical way to these future transport issues. Well done to the Department of Transport again, for this pragmatic and sensible approach.

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