The Department of Law discusses potential loss of AM radio in vehicles

Published: Jul. 2, 2023 at 12:01 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - As the rise of electric vehicles surfaces, a crucial source of information for drivers may be in danger.

AM radio which is an important way to get information to many Alaskans may be eliminated from new electric cars in the future.

According to a press release from the Department of Law, some car manufacturers around the country are considering the removal of AM radio in electric cars. They cite electrical interference with the audio systems, making am radio signals sound buzzy and unpleasant.

This comes as the Biden administration has discussed its goal of having 50 percent of new vehicle sales be electric by 2030.

Alaska Attorney General Treg Taylor has joined 15 other states in an effort to keep AM radio receivers installed in new cars.

According to Taylor, “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.”

Cathy Hiebert, Executive Director of the Alaska Broadcasters Association said, “Removing free, over the air AM radio would clearly hinder the business operations of Alaska am stations and more importantly, critically injure broadcasters’ ability to reach Alaska citizens in times of emergency. When the internet and power are out, radio and particularly AM radio is a lifeline to us all.”

Hiebert also added, “Alaska 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. Urban residents across the state rely on AM radio for news, weather, sports and more. AM radio also plays a vital role in connecting Alaska Native communities with stations that serve, in some cases, in-language programming.”


Many Alaskan communities rely on AM radio only. These places include Dillingham, Fort Yukon, Houston, and McGrath.

Important organizations rely on the source as well which are the University of Alaska Anchorage, Alaska Aerospace, Alaska Aerospace Corporation Aurora Launch Services and Kodiak Island.

Bryan Fisher, Director of the Alaska Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, said, “Alaska is vast and AM radio is the only broadcast media that reaches some Alaskans. AM radio is a tried and true system that we have used for generations to send out emergency messages, such as tsunami warnings. DHS&EM [Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management} cannot support any effort to reduce our ability to communicate these critical life-saving messages.”