Electric Cars Get Noisier

The great thing about electric vehicles or EVs is that they don’t generate as much noise as cars that guzzle petrol or diesel. They run smoothly and quietly without the revs and vrooms often associated with internal combustion engines. The problem? They’re often so silent that people don’t hear them coming. Take for instance the Tesla Roadster. Even the driver doesn’t know whether the engine is running or not, much less estimate how fast he’s going from the usual sounds from the road and engine. This has grown to be a safety issue, particularly to pedestrians, and especially to the visually-impaired.

These days, manufacturers are coming out with ways to make their EVs noisier–or at least sounding like conventional vehicles while plying the streets. Nissan, for instance, chose to use a Blade Runner type of sound on its upcoming LEAF. It’s hardly conventional-sounding, but Nissan says they wanted to make the car as futuristic-sounding as possible. GM and other companies are following suit, albeit with a more conventional taste.

I wonder if in the future EV sounds will be as popular as mobile phone ringtones are today. Perhaps we will be given options and choices, and we could customize how our EVs would sound while running. Personally, I’d choose a V8-sounding effect.

image credit: flickr/kosabe

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