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Have you ever heard an electric car driving down the street? Chances are you haven’t. And that’s the problem. They’re just too darn quiet. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has determined these vehicles to be too quiet, and therefore a hazard to pedestrians. The theory is, if you are walking down the street, and you step off of the sidewalk to cross the road, you won’t hear this thing coming, because they are so super quiet. While we agree these electric and hybrid vehicles are too quiet, we question why pedestrians can’t use their eyes before crossing the road.
The NHTSA wants these vehicles to meet minimum sound standards so that pedestrians can hear them approaching on them. Of particular concern is the visually impaired pedestrians. Many hybrids do utilize carbon burning fuel powered engines at least some of the time, but when they are running on electric only, the same concerns apply.
Lawmakers and regulators are mainly concerned about noise at low speeds. Their concern is for when the automobiles are traveling at low speeds, perhaps 20 MPH or less. The thought is that on busy city streets is where most pedestrian vs car accidents occur. You typically don’t see pedestrians get hit by autos on major highways. Plus, these vehicle begin to make sufficient noise at higher speeds.
If a pedestrian can sense the presence of an auto, they will be better able to detect, and avoid them. Just how these sounds would be produced, and what kind of sound has yet to be determined. But we suspect auto manufacturers will come up with some innovative ideas.
Personally, we would love to hear a car make the roar of a lion. That would be cool. How ’bout you? What kind of noise would you like to hear a car make?
If you’ve been pondering the purchase of an electric car, but were hesitant due to the lack of infrastructure to charge them and service them, you may be one step closer to getting the proper coverage you need. AAA is now starting to offer roadside assistance for these vehicles. They now have numerous service trucks that will be able to charge these increasingly popular vehicles. They have fast chargers that will be able to charge these cars in a rapid time frame. For now, they are just deploying these trucks in some major metropolitan areas across the country. Pending the popularity of this new pilot program, they may plan to increase the range in which they offer this service. The service trucks contain a lithium Ion battery capable of charging most of these automobiles. Charge times will range from 10 to 15 minutes, which should allow the driver to get up to 15 additional miles to reach home, or a charging station.
What about you? Would this news help convince you to finally give in and get an electric car?
The Geneva Motor Show runs from March 3rd through 13th. It’s been a staple in Europe for over 100 years. We realize that most Americans reading this post won’t be able to attend, but it’s still a very interesting look at some of the most imaginative, daring and creative concept cars that you will find, so it’s worth a look. Personally, we would rather take a look at some of the earliest exhibits from the show’s early days back around the original 1905 show. Imagine how all those spectators back then would marvel at the current crop of cars on display.
Some of the more notable exhibits would be the first Infinity hybrid car, the Jaguar sedan concept called the B99, the Rolls Royce Phantom Experimental Electric Car, Ferrari FF, Porche Cayenne Turbo and the BMW Vision Concept Car. Plus, they were even giving away a new Peugeot 308 car.
They are also pushing their “Green Vision” as well with more than 36 electric cars which can even be driven. Expect this trend to accelerate in years to come. They’ll even have some Automotive Equipment there as well, to display certain aspects of servicing these automobiles.
If you do get a chance to visit the show, send us a picture or two and tell us a little about it. We’d love to hear from you.