The Desk appreciates the support of readers who purchase products or services through links on our website. Learn more...

NAB takes automakers to task over AM radio statements

The logo of the National Association of Broadcasters. (Courtesy logo, Graphic by The Desk)
The logo of the National Association of Broadcasters. (Courtesy logo, Graphic by The Desk)

The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) is countering a critical blog post written by an automotive industry group that took the radio industry to task.

The NAB is closely examining the assertion that leaving AM in electric vehicles (EVs) will incur a cost of $3.8 billion for the auto industry by 2030. This figure originated from a study by the Center for Automotive Research, funded by the Alliance for Automotive Innovation.

As the AM For Every Vehicle Act approaches its final stages in Congress, some EV manufacturers are actively seeking to impede its progress.

Automakers argue that addressing the issue would be expensive due to electromagnetic interference (EMI) from EV components distorting AM signals. However, the NAB contends that this cost is not exclusive to AM radio, as EMI mitigation is required for various electronic systems in EVs. Another claim made by the Alliance for Automotive Innovation is that EMI mitigation for AM radio increases the weight of EVs, affecting battery range. Contrary to this, the report reveals that a typical ferrite core filter used for mitigation weighs only around 2.2 pounds, a negligible fraction of an EV’s total weight.

Dealing with AM radio interference is perceived as a temporary challenge. Future vehicle models are anticipated to feature designs optimized for electromagnetic compatibility, thereby reducing the necessity for additional EMI mitigation for AM radios.

The Congressional Budget Office, in estimating the cost of AM to automakers, stated, “Based on sales data, this would require manufacturers to update media equipment and infotainment software in about 2.5 to 3 million EVs per year. Because the unit costs of those updates are small, CBO estimates the total cost of the mandate would be several millions of dollars each year the requirement is in effect.” This estimate is significantly lower than the one provided by the Alliance for Automotive Innovation and the Center for Automotive Research.

While automakers persist in their efforts to cut costs and eliminate free entertainment sources from future dashboards, broadcasters remain vigilant, advancing as support for the AM Act approaches simple majorities in both houses of Congress.

Photo of author

About the Author:

The Desk

The Desk offers the latest news and commentary on the business of streaming media, broadcast and radio television, journalism, technology and policy.