It follows concerns that low-emission cars and vans are too quiet, putting pedestrians at risk because they can not be heard as they approach.
From 1 July 2019 all manufacturers must install an acoustic sound system in new types of quiet electric and hybrid electric vehicles to improve road safety.
From 2021, all new electric cars will have to be fitted with the noise-emitting system, not just new models, it added.
The cars are only required to emit the sound when travelling below 20 kilometres per hour (12mph) or when reversing, with the reasoning that those are the conditions under which vehicles are likely to be near to pedestrians.
Guide Dogs, a charity for the blind that had campaigned for these changes, welcomed the new device requirements, though they argue EVs should make a sound at all speeds. It will be interesting to see the insurance implications if there is a collision and the driver is found to have disabled their AVAS.
The government has further cemented its position as a global leader in the transition to zero emission transport, by securing new regulations to make electric vehicles safer and provide greater confidence to vulnerable road users.
The new European Union rule has been set in anticipation of the growing numbers of electric vehicles on roads, as they make considerably less noise than those with internal combustion engines.
AVAS must be fitted to all four-wheel vehicles capable of moving without an internal combustion engine running, meaning basically all hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric cars.
Electric vehicles accounted for 6.6% of the new auto market in May, a slight growth over the same time a year ago where they made up 5.6% of the market.