Electric-powered automobiles may offer many important advantages over conventionally-powered vehicles when it comes to environmental considerations. But they may also lead to the demise of AM radio.
According to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, manufacturers and consumers are finding that the electromagnetic frequencies generated by the vehicles’ electric-powered motors occupy the same wavelength as AM radio signals. As a result, AM radio signals are fully or partially blocked even before they reach the onboard antenna. At best, drivers and passengers get radio reception full of static. But, as electric engines become more powerful, AM radio fails to work at all.
Rather than searching for a solution to the problem, several electric vehicle manufacturers, including Tesla, BMW and Honda, have reportedly removed AM radio capabilities from their vehicles altogether, assuming that FM and satellite radio stations and streaming from in-vehicle smart phones will fill the void. But woe to those drivers who have fond memories of listening to an ever-changing array of AM radio stations as they traveled across the country in wood-paneled station wagons!