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Preserving AM Radio in the Electric Vehicle Era

The surging electric vehicle (EV) sector has prompted a shift in automaker practices, with several major players discontinuing the installation of AM radio equipment in new EVs. This move stems from the acknowledged electromagnetic interference caused by electric motors, resulting in audio disruptions and diminished reception. Notable pioneers of this adjustment include BMW in 2014 and Tesla in 2018. Ford, Mazda, Volkswagen, and Volvo have followed suit.

EVs employ intricate systems comprising rechargeable batteries, electric motors, and frequency converters, the latter responsible for regulating motor power by modulating voltage thousands of times per second. Regrettably, this dynamic process introduces electromagnetic interference, leading to radio signal disturbances.

AM radio, a vital tool for public safety and communication, remains cherished by 82 million Americans. Operating on lower frequencies, AM radio's reach extends through obstacles, particularly benefiting rural areas with limited internet connectivity. The Electric Vehicle Interference Dilemma has spurred congressional action. The bipartisan "AM Radio for Every Vehicle Act of 2023" demands AM radio access devices as standard equipment in all new motor vehicles.

Undeterred, industry stakeholders like the Illinois Broadcasters Association are championing the cause, engaging lawmakers and manufacturers alike. Recent successes include Ford's commitment to retaining AM radio in its 2024 lineup.


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