Electric and hybrid cars will have to be fitted with ‘sound effects’ to warn of their approach under EU rules.

Manufacturers will be told to make the cars – which are silent when running on electric power – louder to protect pedestrians, cyclists, children and blind people.

There are about 2353 electric and 128 165 hybrid cars on Britain’s roads.

In research by the Guide Dogs for the Blind charity, volunteers listening to cars travelling at 8km/h could only detect an electric vehicle once it was 2.13 metres away - one second from impact - against 8.53 metres for a petrol car.

Ministers said they were talking to the EU about fitting the artificial warning sounds to electric and hybrid cars. The new rules could come in next year.

Engineers are working on sound effects ranging from replicating conventional car engine noise to sci-fi Star Wars-style space-fighters. -Daily Mail