Though electric vehicles (EVs) are about as clean and as quiet as cars come, their silence does pose a bit of a problem for pedestrians, namely the visually challenged. General Motors has in fact addressed this problem and has equipped the Chevrolet Volt with a noisemaker of sorts that generates a tone at low speeds or while in idle in order to let everyone know that they are in the presence of the 2011 Motor Trend Car Of The Year, even if they can’t see it. Now, the United States Senate has taken it one step further, having approved a bill that hopes to make such contraptions on EVs, and even hybrids, law.
The bill, dubbed “S 841”, seems to be on the verge of being passed by the House. Once passed, it would require any upcoming vehicle that at one point or another plans on not using its audible internal combustion engine – or one that simple does not have one – to have some sort of pedestrian notifying device in place, just as much as it needs to have a pair of headlights. We personally would like to see celebrity voices, like that of Darth Vader – although (understandably), that may scare some.
Source: Green Car Advisor