Sen. Ed Markey (D MA) Voices Concerns About Lack of AM Radios in Electric Cars

As we have seen over the past few years, a number of automakers have decided not to include AM receivers in their new electric cars. Sen Ed Market (D. MA) has sent a letter to a number of automakers about including an AM receiver in their electric cars. Letters were sent to 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.  In the letter Sen Markey noted:

“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.”

We fully support Sen. Markey’s efforts. While auto manufacturers claim electric vehicles interfere with AM service, that is not necessarily the case. The issue is insulating the receiver from potential interference. One estimate indicated it would increase the cost of a car by only $150.

A vital AM service is essential for this country. In many markets across the country, and especially in New York City, AM radio provides essential news to citizens. Being excluded from the electric car would have a devastating impact on AM radio and the New Yorkers who rely on this important service. We fully support Sen. Markey’s efforts.

You can access more information about Sen. Markey’s letter here.

You can see the actual letters Sen. Markey sent to the automakers here.