A New Jersey congressman is working on a plan to make sure EV auto manufacturers continue to include AM radios in their new cars and trucks.

Several companies including Tesla and Ford are no longer installing AM radios in their EVs, claiming they are outdated.

U.S. Rep. Josh Gottheimer, D-N.J. 5th District, standing outside a Tesla dealership in Paramus, called on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to add AM radio to the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards list, which would require all automakers to include AM radios as a standard feature.

He said AM radio is the backbone behind America’s national public warning system, which provides emergency information from FEMA "during major natural disasters, extreme weather conditions, chemical incidents, health emergencies and other domestic threats including terror."

They provide emergency information

Police car - emergency concept image
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He noted 77 AM radio stations around the country, reaching 90% of the population, continue to broadcast during emergencies and serve as initial entry points for National Emergency Alert system radio traffic.

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"These battle-hardened high-power stations would remain operational, and can even be heard from thousands of miles away."

"We’ve made significant investments across the country to make sure AM radio can reach every community all the time, that’s the key here, and we can’t let electric vehicle manufacturers put public safety at risk."

He said more than 47 million Americans, about 20% of the radio-listening public, listen to AM radio and time spent listening to AM radio has risen over the past five years.

EV companies insist there's a problem

EV companies have claimed electromagnetic noise from their vehicles can disrupt the reception of AM signals but Gottheimer said that’s an absurd argument because early Tesla models included AM radios and other EV manufacturers still do.

An inexpensive fix

He said a cheap adapter fixes the problem.

“I would think that if Elon Musk has enough money to buy Twitter and send rockets to space, he can afford to include AM radio in his Teslas," Gottheimer said.

In addition to calling on NHTSA to require AM radio, he is writing to major EV auto manufacturers, including Tesla, urging them to reconsider their decision to discontinue AM radio in their cars and trucks and to include the public safety tool as a stock feature.

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