Electric cars tune out AM radio

Some electric vehicle (EV) manufacturers are eliminating AM radios from their cars, which government officials fear could put people at risk in an emergency, Joann Muller reports.

Why it matters: AM radio is one of the critical ways that federal, state and local officials communicate with the public during natural disasters and other emergencies.

If drivers don’t have access, they might miss important safety alerts.
What’s happening: Automakers say EVs’ electric motors interfere with AM frequencies, creating annoying buzzing noises and faded signals…

Seven former Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) administrators also raised the issue in a recent letter to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and several congressional committees, per the Wall Street Journal.

The other side: Automakers say consumers are moving away from radio and television for news and information, and so the government’s emergency management system needs to adapt to new technologies, too.