Policy Documents

Questioning NHTSA’s ‘Noisy Electric Cars’ Rule

Sofie E. Miller –
June 11, 2013

In this article in Regulation Magazine (Vol. 36, No. 2), early this year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration published a proposed rule that would require hybrid and electric vehicles to make a sound while being operated at speeds slower than 18 miles per hour. Because they use an electric motor, hybrid and electric vehicles generate less noise than conventional vehicles with internal combustion engines (ICEs), and legislators and regulators alike are concerned that pedestrians could be injured by a vehicle that they can’t hear coming.


Sofie E. Miller is a policy analyst in the George Washington University Regulatory Studies Center and editor of the center’s Regulation Digest.