Quiet, too much, so much so that you might not notice their presence. Hybrid and electric cars have this characteristic, they are not very noisy. Which is potentially a threat to pedestrians. For this reason, from 1 July the European legislation UN 138 came into force , requiring manufacturers of electric and hybrid vehicles to equip all new models to be registered in the European Union with the AVAS device (Audible Vehicle Alert System).
The obligation also applies to vehicles already in circulation, which have until 1 July 2021 to adapt. Furthermore, as of September 1, 2019, the United States will also establish the noise obligation for electric and hybrid cars with the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration).
But let’s get back to Europe immediately: what then is the AVAS? It is basically a buzzer that emits a sound with a high and clearly distinguishable tone. The intensity should be at least 56 decibels up to a maximum of 75 decibels (which corresponds roughly to the noise of a traditional car). Activation of the AVAS is mandatory if you are traveling at less than 20 kilometers per hour and if you are reversing. Other information, for the driver there will be no way to disable it.
However, there are already those who have taken the opportunity to create a more attractive product and to stand out from their competitors. We are talking about the BMW . The Munich-based automaker for the AVAS devices fitted to its models has seen fit to hire a big piece of the contemporary music scene, Hans Zimmer .
The German composer, famous all over the world for having signed the soundtracks of films like The Gladiator, The Da Vinci Code, Sherlock Holmes, Inception and Interstellar, has created a customized “drive sound” for BMW Vision M Next, the concept plug-in 600 horsepower hybrid car presented last June 25 in Munich. In addition, Zimmer is working on the creation of the BMW Iconic Sounds Electric, the range of sounds for the AVAS which will be equipped with the new electric models of the German brand. In short, not really “noise”.