US to re­quire hy­brid, elec­tric cars to make noise

Jamaica Gleaner - - BUSINESS - – AP

NEW HY­BRID and elec­tric cars are re­quired to make noise when trav­el­ling at low speeds so that pedes­tri­ans, es­pe­cially those who are blind or have poor eye­sight, will hear them com­ing, un­der a new rule re­leased Mon­day by the Obama administration.

The new rule could help pre­vent about 2,400 pedes­trian in­juries a year once all hy­brids on the road are equipped to make noise, ac­cord­ing to the Na­tional High­way Traf­fic Safety Administration in the United States.

Hy­brid ve­hi­cles use both a ga­so­lene en­gine and an elec­tric mo­tor. Elec­tric mo­tors, how­ever, make very lit­tle noise com­pared to ga­so­lene and diesel en­gines.

The rule re­quires hy­brid and elec­tric ve­hi­cles to make au­di­ble noise when trav­el­ling in re­verse or for­ward at speeds up to about 19 miles per hour. The sound alert isn’t re­quired at higher speeds be­cause other fac­tors, In this De­cem­ber 13, 2013 file photo (from left), elec­tric cars from Nis­san, Tesla and Toy­ota are pre­sented at a news con­fer­ence in Los An­ge­les. New rules re­leased by the Obama administration on Novem­ber 14, will re­quire hy­brids and elec­tric au­tos to make noise as a safety mea­sure.

such as tyre and wind noise, pro­vide warn­ing.

“We all de­pend on our senses to alert us to pos­si­ble dan­ger,” said US Trans­porta­tion Sec­re­tary An­thony Foxx. “With more, qui­eter hy­brid and elec­tri­cal cars on

the road, the abil­ity for all pedes­tri­ans to hear, as well as see the cars be­comes an im­por­tant fac­tor of re­duc­ing the risk of pos­si­ble crashes and im­prov­ing safety.”

Man­u­fac­tur­ers have un­til Septem­ber 1, 2019 to equip all

new hy­brid and elec­tric ve­hi­cles with sounds that meet the new fed­eral safety stan­dard. Half of new hy­brid and elec­tric ve­hi­cles must be in com­pli­ance one year be­fore the fi­nal dead­line. com­ments as United ex­ec­u­tives out­lined their strat­egy to Wall Street an­a­lysts.

On Mon­day, War­ren Buf­fett’s Berk­shire Hath­away Inc dis­closed in a reg­u­la­tory fil­ing that it had bought stakes in United, Amer­i­can and Delta. Buf­fett had fa­mously mocked air­lines as a ter­ri­ble in­vest­ment years ago.

Air­line stocks soared in 2013 and 2014 as con­sol­i­da­tion re­duced the num­ber of com­peti­tors. Since then, how­ever, the stocks have fared less well be­cause of fall­ing fares and, es­pe­cially re­cently, con­cern that fuel and labour costs are both head­ing higher.

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