Electric vehicles (EVs) are a promising automotive technology designed to reduce air pollution, decrease maintenance costs, reduce dependence on foreign oil and reduce noise emissions. Sounds good, but like any new technology, safety issues associated with that technology must be identified and controlled. For example, EVs produce little noise, a fact often touted as an advantage of such vehicles. However, this lack of noise could actually be a hazard if pedestrians can-not hear a vehicle approaching.

Although various types of internal combustion engines (ICE) have been a primary source of vehicle power, most research has focused on developing vehicles powered by electricity. In recent years, availability has been limited to hybrid vehicles, which use a combination of ICE and electric power; however, manufacturers are developing all-electric or plug-in vehicles that operate solely on electricity. EVs include vehicles intended to operate at high-way speeds as well as those intended to operate at low speeds and over short distances. Those vehicles are called neighborhood electric vehicles (NEVs).

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