Call to action - you can make a difference

Call to action - you can make a difference

Congress has mandated that the U.S. Department of Transportation enact minimum sound level requirements for electric vehicles. The good folks in the department are proposing a limited set of mandatory federal government beeps that all electric vehicles would have to emit with no flexibility at all. While Congress has mandated that there must be a sound, they did not mandate what it should be. If you want the flexibility to broadcast muscle cars, symphony music, horse hooves, or whatever; then please submit a comment. This is an industry waiting to be created if it’s birth is not crushed by narrow-minded bureaucrats. To date there have only been about 230 comments on the regulation. The comment period has been extended and is still open. So please go to the links below and comment. You can make a difference.


Submit comments:!docketDetail;D=NHTSA-2011-0148

If you do not want to write a comment here are some to cut and paste and/or modify:

Please allow auto makers to install any sound that they choose as long as it can be heard at a certain distance from the vehicle. A limited set of beeps will stifle creativity, cost the US economy jobs and money through lost opportunities, and not appreciably increase safety.

I do not believe that lack of vehicle noise at low speeds is a safety issue. Please delay development of any regulations until a more thorough real world analysis of actual risk can be completed. If lack of low speed noise is an issue the minimum noise regulations should apply to all vehicles and not unfairly single out electric and hybrid vehicles.

If lack of low speed noise is an issue then minimum noise regulations should apply to all vehicles and not unfairly single out electric and hybrid vehicles. Mandating only certain sounds to be broadcast is a mistake that will cost the US economy in lost opportunity and increase regulatory burden. Do not limit the types of sounds to be broadcast. All vehicles should be allowed to broadcast any sound they choose as long as it is meets a certain minimum decibel level.

Captain_Zap | 01. Mai 2013

Thank you for the update. I didn't realize that they extended the comment period.

There are discussions on this topic from back when they first announced the opening of public comment. Searchable via

Sudre_ | 01. Mai 2013

Funny just yesterday a coworker mention the lack of sound issue as we were walking to our cars after work. As we walked to our car I asked him if he could specifically hear any car that I saw moving and he couldn't. There is so much ambient car noise and general noise that it all merges together.... not to mention most new ICE cars are rather quiet.

Then again in St. Louis I think we still have a law that says a person must walk with a lantern in front of the car to warn people so the horses don't get spooked maybe headlights took over that function.

Sudre_ | 01. Mai 2013

Oh and the people I know that work for the school for the blind agree it would be much better to have the vehicle manufactures pay into a pool that would supply ALL blind and partially sighted people with a vehicle proximity detector and then have the cars broadcast a signal to set them off. It should be mandated for ALL powered moving things on the roads.

It was just a few years back that a student was hit out in front of the School for the blind and killed. The ICE made lots of noise.

The problem is our government is thinking inside the same box that the big automakers are stuck in.

Captain_Zap | 06. Mai 2013
olanmills | 06. Mai 2013

That URL doesn't work for me.

Andre-nl | 07. Mai 2013

The Renault Zoe has a built-in sound that automatically engages at low speeds (up to ~40 kph I think). But you can opt to switch if off.

So yes, unfortunately, this is coming our way. The fact that they are silent is one of the big advantages of EV's, why throw that away?

I drive a Prius and I do notice that I drive more defensively towards cyclists and pedestrians knowing my car is inaudible.

In any case, most new cars 10 years from now will have some sort of pedestrian avoidance/emergency braking system, greatly reducing the chances of a collision anyway. But my fear is that we'll be stuck with the mandatory noise laws for decades afterwards (just as you in the US are stuck with outdated dealer laws).

rlarno | 07. Mai 2013

I just keep going back to this:

I vote to start a public competition for all Tesla owners. Create the best sound for your car!

I like the fact that Renault has provided to option to the driver. That is as far as any regulations should go today, allow the driver to select it. Same thing as your indicators, they are there, you are responsible for using them. (And we all know they are an option for MB drivers ;-)

Captain_Zap | 07. Mai 2013

The public petition is the public comment page at this time.

I'll try to post the link again.!docketDetail;D=NHTSA-2011-0148

You might need to copy and paste... sorry...

olanmills | 08. Mai 2013

What I mean is that even if I copy and paste the link into my address bar, it doesn't work.

Brian H | 08. Mai 2013


Captain_Zap | 08. Mai 2013

That is strange. I just copied and pasted it and it worked. Hmmm...

Aleksandyr | 08. Mai 2013

worked for me, thanks

portia | 08. Mai 2013

entered coments, thanks for the heads up.

Brian H | 08. Mai 2013

Yeah, must have been a temp glitch.