Posted: February 2019
The new breed of electric vehicles exploded onto the scene at the turn of the century when manufacturers began focusing on fuel-efficient technology as a means of addressing global warming and climate change. There are now some two million electric vehicles on the road and numbers are rapidly increasing.
Governments have now adopted legislation requiring manufacturers to produce solely fuel-efficient vehicles in the near future. The UK has followed France in pledging to ban the sale of gas-powered vehicles by 2040, and London has introduced a toxicity charge for the majority of pre-2006 vehicles, meaning we’re likely to see many more electric vehicles on our roads.
The rise in use of silent electric vehicles has come at a cost, however. Since they are only audible at high speeds, they pose a safety risk to vulnerable road users, such as pedestrians, cyclists and those who are visually impaired. When electric vehicles travel at speeds below 20kph/18.6mph they are almost silent, and research has shown that they are 37% more likely to be involved in pedestrian accidents than conventional cars.
To combat this risk, many governments are introducing legislation requiring the use of Acoustic Vehicle Alert Systems (AVAS) on electric vehicles. The EU has approved legislation requiring mandatory AVAS for all new electric and hybrid vehicles by 2020. By 2021 every electric vehicle on the road will have to be retrofitted with devices that can be heard at low speeds.
As a global leader in road safety technology, we’ve developed our award-winning Quiet Vehicle Sounder (QVS), which is designed to warn pedestrians, cyclists and other vulnerable road users of approaching silent electric and hybrid vehicles.
Utilizing our multi-frequency patented bbs-tek® technology, our QVS creates a highly directional and instantly locatable warning sound at low speeds, readily identified as a vehicle. The sound is only heard in the hazard zone, dissipating quickly and cutting out at higher speeds to help minimize noise pollution.
Our QVS system can be retrofitted to existing electric vehicles. Here at Brigade, it’s our mission to improve road safety. Our QVS vehicle safety system is helping to address the issues posed by electric-powered vehicles as they become more commonplace on our roads.