No More AM Radio

My local paper carried a story this morning from the NY Times about AM radio. It seems that many EVs don’t carry AM radio because of electrical interference. The manufacturers don’t think that buyers are interested enough in AM radio to provide it in their infotainment systems. It requires significant shielding to proved hiss free radio. I never listen to AM radio unless I’m in Mrs JT’s van, and I don’t like her choice of news/opinion station at all. I won’t miss AM radio if I buy an EV, will you?

They still have AM Radio ?

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Several of my favorite programs are on AM, but they are available over the internet so I can listen to them in the Tesla, it is just not as convenient.

When I started driving it was only AM unless you had an add-on or a luxury vehicle. I rarely listen to AM. The big advantage for AM is - Range. Maybe if you’re traveling in some remote area of the country and you AM is the only thing you can get. But if you do that often then you should think about getting Sirius.

Stations are often also available on FM, like the station my wife likes. I’m not gonna tell her, though. :wink:

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I guess that restriction doesn’t apply to plug-in hybrids, because mine does have AM radio. While I don’t listen to AM often, the all-news station can come in handy for traffic reports.

There are areas where AM radio makes it through but shorter range FM broadcast band doesn’t. If you’re in the city where EVs usually are, then FM has most of the stations. Especially the kind of content that EV drivers tend to listen to.

People who buy EVs can’t go on long road trips nor can they drive all night listening to the same AM station anyway. They have to stop to charge. A road trip in an EV is usually not a good experience. The places that are remote enough to need AM radio are not good for EVs.

You seem to know so much so what kind of context do EV drivers listen to ?

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I dont care if they get rid of AM at all. The only time we turn the radio on would be to get a traffic report, and i can get that on waze.

AM radios do not generate interference. They are subject to interference.

Most electrical interference is low frequency and vertically polarized, as is AM. FM is higher frequency (UHF) and horizontally polarized. AM cannot be shielded from this interference, if you did that, it would not be able to receive a signal. It has to be filtered to stop the interference from getting from the antenna to the radio.

So few people listen to AM anymore so it isn’t much of a selling point. Some vehicles have even dropped the aux port on their entertainment system in favor of USB A and USB C ports.

Those low-power travel information radio stations always seem to be on AM, so that’s one minor loss.

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When I drive through the desolate areas of northern Nevada at night I enjoy AM radio broadcasts from Reno, Las Vegas, even LA, Phoenix, Albuquerque, and Denver via the AM-skip signal. The FM stations are line of sight mostly, and don’t reach far to many of those areas. Even so I wouldn’t worry about buying a new car that had no AM radio. FM-only is ok for urban driving. If I was going to drive across northern Nevada I’d just bring along a portable.

AM reception is definitely worse than FM inside a home/apartment, but imo iAM s getting a bad rap, the problem isn’t AM so much as all the electronic gadgets that create EMI these days, esp LED and compact florescent light bulbs. I often listen to an LA radio station (KFI) here in San Jose in the evening but have to do that either outside, or turn all the lights off.

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I’m pretty sure jtsanders was talking about susceptibility to the EMI generated by the EV electronics. Often, the inverters are switched at fairly high frequencies for the sake of efficiency but this causes a boatload of radiated and conducted noise. The conducted stuff is more easily snubbed as you know. The radiated part is tougher to deal with and an AM radio would be in the right range to be susceptible.

Had a friend over and we’re pretty sure the motor controllers on my electric motorcycles were interfering with his hearing aids when he rode one. He became disoriented when they were running. Not much effort put into EMI suppression on those :wink:

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Trust me, George. There are no NEW cars that have only an AM radio. They may have only FM + various satellite/online/media audio options, but the days of “AM only” expired several decades ago.

In case you weren’t aware, technology has moved-on to a significant extent over the past 50 years.


lol … yeah … well my truck has an AM-only radio … but Corolla had AM/FM. I should have said I wouldn’t worry about buying a car with no AM radio.

I think that the days of standard AM-only radio in cars expired many DECADES ago.

When I am in the NYC region I listen to NewsRadio 88 for traffic and local news. In 1974 adding FM to car radios was mandated.

I can honestly say I’ve never listened to an AM channel in my life.

The other day I switched my car radio to AM. There was absolutely nothing on. Even the “road construction status” advertised by my state was not on the AM channel.

I don’t think many people will miss AM.

I meant interference of AM signals from electrical systems on the car as @TwinTurbo said. As I briefly mentions in my original post, many auto manufacturers aren’t willing to spend the money to determine the sources and shield them so that they don’t interfere with AM radio signals. Buyers will pay for that work in the end and they see little benefit to buyers or themselves.

I am in Northern LA county and do listen to AM radio usually on my morning commute. Listen to KNX 1070 which is a CBS station. Traffic and weather every 15 minutes and decent news without much commentary. They recently went on FM too, 97.1 which used to be one of my favorite pop music channels, but the reception is not all that great for half of my drive.
The AM radio would not be a deal breaker for me, but that is not going to make me to pay for satellite radio.

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