Many electric car brands in Australia don’t include AM radio functionality and it’s likely in the future none will. According to the New York Times:
“Carmakers say electromagnetic interference causes static and noise on AM transmissions, annoying customers. Broadcasters say they could lose a connection to their core listeners, who rely on the radio for emergencies”.
In Australia DAB+ digital radio signal is only available in our big cities and mobile radio streaming of AM stations works fine in urban areas but there are many places in Australia with no mobile signal especially when using Optus or Vodafone.
Perhaps the car manufacturer headquarters overseas don’t realise that ABC AM is the official emergency broadcaster we listen to for information about fire, floods etc.
That’s why personally if given the choice of two radio bands in an electric car I’d choose AM and DAB+.
Recently while watching well known European YouTuber Bjørn Nyland review the European 2022 model ZS EV extended range model electric car I noticed he listens to an AM radio station.
That’s interesting because in Australia the 2021 model ZS EV had AM and FM radio but the 2022 model ZS EV has FM and DAB+ radio, so AM isn’t an option anymore.
A spokesperson for MG Australia advised me that:
“With stations available on DAB+, MG opted against having AM installed”
Curiously according to a Australian MG ZS EV 2022 model owner Luke who shared this:
“I stopped briefly at EnviroShop in Newstead to charge. When I left, I noticed that the AM option was present on my radio screen. I selected AM and tuned into Radio National and listened to Phillip Adams all the way home. After I turned the vehicle off, the AM option had vanished again. My point is, the AM option is available, but not enabled in the Mk2.”
Perhaps it was disabled by MG because testing showed that listening to AM was noisy and staticy due to interference? Unless they decide to comment further we won’t know.