Sen. Markey Wants Automakers To Maintain Free Broadcast Radio in Future EV Models

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In full transparency, the following is a media release from Sen. Ed Markey, who was elected by voters in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to serve the state in Washington DC in the US Senate. He is a Democrat. (stock photo) SOURCE publishes press release from elected leaders as a community service.

WASHINGTON DC – As automakers move swiftly to meet rising consumer demand for electric vehicles (EVs), Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), a member of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, today sent letters to 20 car manufacturers requesting that they maintain AM radio in their vehicles, including new EV models.

In his letter, Senator Markey explained that consumers still value AM radio and stressed that free broadcast radio is a critical, reliable channel for local, state, and federal government officials – including the President of the United States, governors, mayors, and emergency management and public safety officers – to communicate with the public.

Senator Markey further urged automakers to adopt technological solutions to address any electromagnetic interference that EVs cause with AM radio signals.

“Despite innovations such as the smartphone and social media, AM/FM broadcast radio remains the most dependable, cost-free, and accessible communication mechanism for public officials to communicate with the public during times of emergency. As a result, any phase-out of broadcast AM radio could pose a significant communication problem during emergencies,” Senator Markey wrote. “Although the auto industry’s investments in electric vehicles are critical to addressing the climate crisis and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, automakers need not sacrifice the benefits of radio in the process.”

The letters were sent to car manufacturers BMW, Ford General Motors, Honda Motor, Hyundai, Jaguar Land Rover, Kia, Lucid, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Polestar, Rivian, Stellantis, Subaru, Tesla, Toyota, Volkswagen Group, and Volvo.

Senator Markey requested written responses to the following questions by December 22, 2022:

  • Has your company decided to discontinue access to free AM and/or FM broadcast radio in any of its vehicles?
    • If so, please provide the make, model, and manufacturing year of each vehicle that no longer will have AM and/or FM radio and explain why your company decided to omit AM and/or FM radio from those vehicles.
    • If not, please explain the type of technology, if any, that addresses electromagnetic interference with AM radio signals from EVs.
  • Does your company have any plans to omit AM and/or FM broadcast radio from future vehicle models? If so, please explain why your company is planning to remove AM and/or FM broadcast radio from them.
  • Does your company include free, digital broadcast radio in its vehicles? If so, please provide the make, model, and manufacturing year of each vehicle equipped with digital broadcast radio.

Read the Letter here.

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