New Electric Cars May Ditch AM Radio, Experts Say


Could AM radio be on its final legs? Some experts in the automotive field believe it may be. Particularly as electric cars take up more and more of the consumer market, advocates for AM are worried the form might be on its way out in the not-so-distant future. However, advocates from both sides of the political aisle are trying to make sure it stays put.

Tesla, one of the leading producers of electric cars in the United States, was among the first to receive criticism for its move toward dropping AM radio earlier this year. The company stated that the frequencies used to broadcast AM have the potential to cause electromagnetic interference with the car's operating systems, rendering the transmission unintelligible.

Electric vehicle producers also argue that AM broadcasts will still be accessible via digital outlets, such as the stations' websites or a host of popular online radio sites.

Meanwhile, those against the change argue that access to AM radio broadcasts is critical during emergencies. Often times emergency response agencies relay important information to the public using AM broadcasts, a practice especially relevant in Florida during its common hurricane-related power outages.

According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, several former administrators of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) have written to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg requesting consideration of the impending peril of AM radio.

These former FEMA administrators have an ally in senators Ed Markey (D-MA) and Ted Cruz (R-TX), both of whom have joined calls to save AM and who have introduced legislation to that end: the AM for Every Vehicle Act.