The UK Government has introduced rules that require all new electric cars to be fitted with noise-emitting devices to help improve safety for pedestrians, cyclists, and other road users.

The latest rules require all car makers to install an acoustic sound system in new types of quiet electric and hybrid vehicles.

Previously, experts expressed concerns that electric cars are too quiet, which endangers the safety of pedestrians, cyclists and other vulnerable road users as they do not realise an e-car is approaching.

Vehicles will now be fitted with sound generators that will produce noise when they are reversing or running below 20km/h.

Sound produced by e-car and hybrid e-cars will be similar to that made by a conventional engine and can be temporarily deactivated by the driver if judged necessary.

Roads Minister Michael Ellis said: “The government wants the benefits of green transport to be felt by everyone, and understands the concerns of the visually impaired about the possible hazards posed by quiet electric vehicles.

“This new requirement will give pedestrians added confidence when crossing the road.”

The rule is applicable to all new types of ‘quiet’ electric and hybrid vehicles from 1 July 2019, while all new quiet electric and hybrid vehicles registered from July 2021.

The same rule has also been adopted by the European Union (EU) from 1 July.

Earlier, the UK Government revealed its plan to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2040.