Here’s a Look at the Ever-Changing World of Electric Vehicles

Toyota PriusWith increased sales come increased regulations, or so the electric vehicle industry has discovered. Electric and hybrid-electric car sales now make up 4.1 percent of all light-vehicles sold in the United States, as compared to 2.1 percent in 2011, making new regulations necessary.

To prevent the vehicles’ soundless engines from catching bicyclists and pedestrians by surprise, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration proposed a new rule on Monday that would require electric cars to produce a sound when traveling below 18 miles per hour. This measure would save 35 lives and prevent 2,800 injuries per year, the agency told Bloomberg in an emailed statement.

As the publication reported, if the regulation was finalized, the required part would cost manufacturers approximately $30 to $35 per car or $25 million per year.

Shino Yamada, a Tokyo-based spokeswoman for the Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE:TM) told Bloomberg that the company, which has designed its hybrid models sold in Japan and the U.S. to emit a sound when the engine is running, has the NHTSA’s proposal under review.

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