These automakers are removing AM radios from electric vehicles

Certain auto manufacturers are beginning to remove the AM setting from their new electric vehicles because they say electic engines can interfere with the AM stations.

Some lawmakers say it's not a good move though, as there's a push in Washington to save it:

Why is AM radio so important?

  • Public safety alerts
  • Weather emergencies
  • News
  • Foreign language programming

Automakers removing AM radios

  • BMW
  • Volkswagen
  • Mazda
  • Tesla
  • Ford (From all vehicles, both electric and gas)

RELATED: Carmakers are dropping AM radios from electric vehicles. Is that bad?

Lawmakers react

In today's political climate where politics are divided by priorities, the intent to save AM radio has united lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.

The move is concerning a bipartisan group of lawmakers. 

New Jersey Congressmen Josh Gottheimer and Rob Menendez are among more than 100 lawmakers discussing federal action to keep AM radio in all vehicles.

Forty-seven million Americans listen to over 4,100 AM stations.

Thursday, legislators jointly unveiled the AM For Every Vehicle Act.

"It would ensure that access to AM radio remains, while also making EVs a more viable option for many Americans," Representative Rob Menendez stated.

If passed, automakers would have to keep AM radio in new vehicles without charging extra for it.

The legislation comes as 40% of the world's mainstream automakers including BMW, Mazda and Tesla have already moved to eliminate AM radio from electric vehicles while 47 million Americans rely on it as their source for information.

The 2022 Ford Mustang Mach-E electric sports utility vehicle (SUV) at AutoMobility LA ahead of the Los Angeles Auto Show in Los Angeles, California, U.S., on Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021. Covid-19 canceled the Los Angeles Auto Show in 2020 and now that the show is back, some automakers have decided they didn't need it anyway. Photographer: Bing Guan/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The 2022 Ford Mustang Mach-E electric sports utility vehicle (SUV). (Bing Guan/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Manufacturers attribute the trend away from AM radio to an annoying buzzing noise coming from interference from electric motors as automakers pivot the source of AM radio from car manufacturers to subscription-based streaming services.

These companies say the electromagnetic noise from their electric cars can disrupt the reception of signals. But that's a ridiculous argument because we know that early Teslas used to have well-functioning AM radio.

In the tech-dominated era, they consider the more than a hundred-year-old communication channel the most reliable and invisible in the event of an emergency.

"AM radio is resilient to cyber-attacks, nuclear threats and natural disasters. So, when the cell phone goes out, Internet gets cut off or television doesn't work because there's no power to your house. You can still use AM radio. It'll be there," said New Jersey representative Josh Gotthemier.

On the other side of the new legislation, a streaming radio service CEO defends the trend away from AM radio.

He argues there are just more efficient ways to streaming AM radio.