EV Drivers Will Get To Choose Their ‘Engine’ Sounds
There’s an increasing amount of customisation and personalisation options in the automotive industry. From paint jobs, trims and in-car tech. But EV drivers will even be able to choose the sounds their cars make…
Choose Your Sound
One advantage of electric vehicles is also a disadvantage. By dispensing with rumbling combustion engines, they’re much quieter to drive. As most EV drivers will tell you, the lack of noise can initially be almost unnerving. In time, however, it allows for peaceful travel. The flip side is that the lack of noise can make it harder for other road users to detect the vehicles. Pedestrians and cyclists are particularly at risk, especially in already noisy built-up and urban environments. As a result, industry regulators want EVs to produce artificial sounds at lower speeds, alerting road-users to their presence.
According to the American National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), drivers should be able to choose what the noises and sounds consist of; with manufacturers offering several options each. These will ‘play’ when EV drivers travel at less than 19 mph. At higher speeds, the sounds of tyres and air resistance are thought to be loud enough to attract attention. Initially, manufacturers had until the 1st September 2019 to make their EV models sufficiently loud. This deadline has now been extended to 2020.
Something A Bit More Novel?
Initial NHTSA proposals suggested a uniform sound for the vehicles. Manufacturers, however, petitioned for the right to offer a selection. Thus far, most brands have opted for similar noises to combustion engines. Some automakers, however, have opted for more novel options. Mercedes AMG is working with rock band Linkin Park to develop a unique sound. Nissan has also trialled a choral offering for its warning systems. Porsche offers a £400 upgrade for its Taycan model which makes it sound more like a petrol engine. Closer to home in Europe, artificial sounds for warning systems became mandatory on the 1st July, 2019. Before then, they were optional for both hybrids and full-electrics.
There’s something intriguing about the need for noisier electric vehicles. Sometimes, in advancing technology, we discover fresh problems that we’d simply forgotten about. It’ll be interesting to see what sorts of sounds prove popular in the long-term and how diverse they’ll become. The idea of thousands of different sounds emanating from the roads, after all, could be rather unusual. Very recently the idea of making buses in London sound like ‘spaceships’ was pitched to locals; it received a cool reception. It’s most likely that, barring a few eccentric motorists, most of us will simply end up with something that sounds similar to a combustion engine. What do you think, would you prefer a more familiar sound or something a tad more adventurous?
The UK Is The Second Cheapest Place In Europe To Own An Electric Car: https://www.autoserveclub.co.uk/blog/uk-second-cheapest-place-europe-electric-car/
We’ll Refer To Electric Cars As Just ‘Cars’ By 2030: https://autoserve.co.uk/motoring-news/electric-cars-just-cars-2030/