Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now


Republican AGs Urge EV Carmakers to Protect AM

Sixteen GOP attorneys general say signal interference is probably not the issue

Seal of the state of Alaska
Logo of the state of Alaska. Its attorney general is among the signers of the letter.

Attorneys general in 16 states have added their voices to the choir of concern about carmakers removing AM radio from some vehicles.

The AGs, all Republicans, sent a letter to the Electric Drive Transportation Association and the Zero Emission Transportation Association expressing concern “regarding the decision of many of your members to eliminate AM radios in electric cars.”

The letter points out that “Notably … multiple electric car manufacturers have decided not to phase out AM radio. These decisions suggest that the real problem is not signal interference but a failure of certain automobile manufacturers to appreciate the importance of AM radio.”

The AGs of Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Virginia and West Virginia signed the letter, which was posted online by the National Association of Broadcasters. The letter is on the letterhead of Ashley Moody, attorney general of Florida.

They noted AM’s role in public alerting, reliability in emergencies, broad geographical coverage and role in rural communities.

“The decision to eliminate AM radios is even more problematic in light of the Biden Administration’s goal of ‘having 50 percent of all new vehicle sales be electric by 2030.’ While we oppose the Biden Administration’s efforts, they underscore that removing AM radios from electric cars threatens the entire AM radio industry,” they wrote.

“Without access to their main consumers — automobile owners — AM stations, and the lifesaving signals they provide, might cease to exist.”

Treg Taylor, attorney general of Alaska, was quoted by KINY(AM/FM) in Anchorage saying, “Alaska ranks 7th in the nation for AM radio reach. In some communities, AM radio is the only radio station available. We’ve got to impress upon trade groups and electric vehicle carmakers how important AM is and why keeping it in vehicles is critical.”

Taylor’s office quoted Cathy Hiebert, executive director of the Alaska Broadcasters Association, saying that the state’s farmers and ranchers “are extremely reliant on AM radio for weather, market reports and more, which is especially critical in our most rural areas where reliable broadband is yet to be deployed.” She also listed organizations in Alaska that use AM radio to disseminate information via traveler’s information or similar stations, including Admiralty Island National Monument, Alaska Aerospace Corporation Aurora Launch Services, Denali National Park, Kenai Fjords National Monument, Mendenhall Glacier/Admiralty Island National Monument and the University of Alaska, Anchorage.

[Read more Radio World coverage of the AM radio issue.]