By James Salmon Transport Editor For The Daily Mail
Published: 01:16 BST, 1 July 2019 | Updated: 01:17 BST, 1 July 2019
All new electric cars are being fitted with a device that makes fake engine noises – after safety campaigners warned they are too quiet and pose a danger to pedestrians.
New car models must come with an acoustic vehicle alert system (Avas) from today, including hybrids, so that other road users can hear them.
The noises will mimic the sound of a conventional engine and will be activated if the car is reversing or travelling below 12.5 miles an hour. However, drivers can switch off the system if they deem it appropriate – for example in slow-moving traffic on a motorway.
New car models must come with an acoustic vehicle alert system (Avas) from today, including hybrids, so that other road users can hear them. Pictured: The Nissan Leaf electric car which is already using the system
The directive from the European Union, which will be enforced in the UK whether or not Brexit happens, will also apply to all new electric and hybrid cars registered in the bloc from July 2021 – not just new models.
The Department for Transport said the new precautions should give 'added confidence' to vulnerable road users including the blind