Electric cars are a lot less noisy than cars with an internal combustion engine, especially at low speeds. This can cause safety issues as many pedestrians and bicyclers rely on audible cues, so the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced it's going to enforce minimum noise levels for electric cars. Starting in 2019, an audible alert will be required for new electric and hybrid cars when travelling at speeds below 18.6mph (29.9km/h). This will be done by installing small, waterproof speakers:
Manufacturers of these vehicles now have until September 1, 2019 to meet the requirement, which means that any consumer who buys a hybrid or light-duty EV after this date will be sacrificing the fascinating whisper-quiet sensation of operating a hybrid or all-electric vehicle at lower speeds in order to ensure pedestrian safety and compliance with a five-year delayed mandate. For most companies, this will be done by installing small, external waterproof speakers somewhere outside of each vehicle at an estimated cost of around $23 million in the first year.
The agency claims this will prevent up to 2,400 pedestrian injuries per eyar. Full details at FUD Zilla.