FMVSS - 49 CFR 571 78 FR 2798
Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards; Minimum Sound Requirements for Hybrid and Electric Vehicles
|Publication Date:||14 January 2013|
SUMMARY: As required by the Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act (PSEA) of 2010 this rule proposes to establish a Federal motor vehicle safety standard (FMVSS) setting minimum sound requirements for hybrid and electric vehicles. This new standard would require hybrid and electric passenger cars, light trucks and vans (LTVs), medium and heavy duty, trucks, and buses, low speed vehicles (LSVs), and motorcycles to produce sounds meeting the requirements of this standard. This proposed standard applies to electric vehicles (EVs) and to those hybrid vehicles (HVs) that are capable of propulsion in any forward or reverse gear without the vehicle's internal combustion engine (ICE) operating. This standard would ensure that blind, visually-impaired, and other pedestrians are able to detect and recognize nearby hybrid and electric vehicles, as required by the PSEA, by requiring that hybrid and electric vehicles emit sound that pedestrians would be able to hear in a range of ambient environments and contain acoustic signal content that pedestrians will recognize as being emitted from a vehicle.
The benefit of reducing the pedestrian injury rate per registered vehicle of HVs to ICE vehicles when 4.1% of the fleet is HV and EV would be 2790 fewer pedestrian and pedalcyclist injuries. We also estimate that this proposal will result in 10 fewer pedestrian and pedalcyclist injuries caused by LSVs. Thus, 2800 total injured pedestrians are expected to be avoided due to this proposal representing 35 equivalent lives saved. We do not estimate any quantifiable benefits for EVs because it is our view that EV manufacturers would have installed alert sounds in their cars without passage of the PSEA and this proposed rule. Comparison of costs and benefits expected due to this rule provides a cost of $0.83 to $0.99 million per equivalent life saved across the 3 and 7 percent discount levels for the light EV and HV and LSV fleet. According to our present model, a countermeasure that allows a vehicle to meet the proposed minimum sound requirements would be cost effective compared to our comprehensive cost estimate of the value of a statistical life of $6.3 million.