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Birmingham University fits Brigade sounders to EV fleet

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The University of Birmingham has fitted its electric vehicles with sounders to warn students of approaching vehicles.

Retrofit devices from Brigade Electronics were fitted to the university’s fleet of electric cars and vans.

Its Quiet Vehicle Sounder (QVS) emits a noise that is similar to that of a conventionally fuelled vehicle.

Chris Lane, operations manager at the university, said: “The QVS provides absolute peace of mind to our drivers.

“Driving a quiet vehicle in high foot traffic areas can be very stressful, especially with the sheer number of students we have walking or cycling through our campus.”

The University of Birmingham needed a solution to ensure their electric vehicles could be heard by its 35,000 students.

Spending time between lectures and often distracted by their phones, the students were not paying attention to the many paths and roads around the university where the electric fleet operates.

“The QVS eliminates that worry and ultimately keeps everybody safe. We will be making sure all new electric vehicles joining our fleet are fitted with a Quiet Vehicle Sounder, there’s no questioning why you would not have one installed,” added Lane.

The environment has always been a priority for the university – it generates 75% of its own energy and has met its target of reducing CO2 emissions by 20% four years early.

The target was driven by environmental and air quality concerns, plus access to funding.

The pressure on the university to ‘go green’ is increasing as Birmingham has been mandated by the Government to introduce a clean air zone (CAZ) in order meet legal air quality limits.

It is the first university fleet in the United Kingdom to go electric and 40% of the fleet is now sustainable.

New legislation, which came into force this month, will require the mandatory fitment of Acoustic Vehicle Alerting Systems (AVAS) for all new quiet (electric, hybrid and hydrogen fuel cell) vehicle models registered after September 1 2019 and all new vehicle registrations after September 1 2021.

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