In case of emergency, don’t drive an electric vehicle.
Why? Because eight manufacturers of electric vehicles (BMW, Ford, Mazda, Polestar, Rivian, Tesla, Volkswagen and Volva) have removed AM radio from their EV’s.
Some auto manufacturers are removing convention radios from their vehicles because they believe radios are a drain on the EV battery; others because radio reception is often poor due to interference from the battery.
Why does this matter? Because “terrestrial radio (both AM and FM) reaches 92% of the U.S. population, more than any other medium according to media tracking firm Nielsen.”
50 million people listen to AM radio and are dependent upon their local radio stations in case of a local or national emergency. AM radio stations are critical when state or local emergency officials communicate with the public especially during natural disasters or a local emergency (think rapidly rising rivers causing localized flooding) disaster. Without AM radio in their EV, drivers might miss important and life-saving public safety alerts.
Keep an eye on Congress who might require auto manufacturers to maintain free access to broadcast radio.
According to the Wall Street Journal, this issue is so important several former Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) administrators wrote a letter to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg asking him to tune into the importance of local radio during natural disasters where time is often of the essence.
Some in Congress already agree: “The truth is that broadcast AM radio is irreplaceable” said Senator Ed Markey (D-Mass).