Hybrid and electric vehicles should have sounds added to them that mean they emulate the noises made by traditional petrol or diesel cars, a poll has suggested.

Traditional sounds are best

The research, carried out by Venson Automotive Solutions to coincide with Brake Road Safety Week, found 43 per cent of road users would like green cars to mimic petrol or diesel engines when driven at low speeds.

Furthermore, 70 per cent would want their horn to sound like those currently available and 72 per cent reported being eager to see the sounds emitted by electric vehicles being standardised.

Studies have shown that electric cars can be almost silent when driven below 19 mph, which is when they are most likely to share the roads with vulnerable users like pedestrians.

As of July 1st 2019, all new electric vehicles in the EU will be required by law to be fitted with an acoustic vehicle alert system, a regulation that will be extended to existing models by July 2021.

In addition, green car drivers will need to be able to trigger a warning sound akin to a horn to alert others to their presence.

The poll also found 13 per cent of respondents would prefer a horn that played a phrase such as ‘EV approaching’, while six per cent would like to see animal noises such as barks or quacks fitted.

This follows a survey by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in the US back in September, which garnered responses such as a person screaming and a stampede of buffalo when it asked the public what types of sounds they think should be installed in green cars.

Marketing director for Venson Automotive Solutions Alison Bell said: “People naturally react to the sound of an approaching vehicle or a horn being sounded. Keeping sounds we are used to hearing on UK roads makes the most sense when it comes to road safety and saving lives.”

Heather Stark, brand manager at The Fuelcard People, comments: “While some of these suggestions are very funny, the poll shows we are traditionalists at heart and simply want to hear vehicles the way we have always heard them.”

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