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Jul 2021

Canada Proposing Regulation for HEV Noise Level

In the CANADA GAZETTE Vol. 155 No. 17 Part I, Canada is proposing: CMVSS 141 Minimum Sound Requirements for Hybrid and Electric Vehicles (HEVs). HEVs are significantly quieter than their internal combustion engine (ICE) counterparts when driven at low speeds. This heightens the risk to the blind and partially sighted who rely on audible signals when navigating in the vicinity of traffic.

HEVs on the road in Canada today have a system to artificially generate minimum sound levels when operating at low speeds; however, there is no regulation requiring such systems. Both the U.S. and UN have regulations that require that hybrid and electric light vehicles produce sound levels meeting their respective standards. Following the development of regulations in the United States and the UN, Transport Canada analysed the potential to implement a Quiet Road Transportation Vehicle (QRTV) regulation. Work on this initiative was put on hold as Transport Canada was awaiting the development of a Global Technical Regulation (GTR) at the UNECE that would have harmonised the U.S. and UN regulations.

As the process for establishing a GTR for HEVs was not successful, Transport Canada is moving forward by proposing regulations for minimum sound requirements for hybrid and electric vehicles. The goal would be to incorporate the two sets of requirements into a Canadian standard, allowing manufacturers to choose which requirement to adopt (i.e. either the U.S. or UN requirement), thereby codifying an already existing practice.