Electric cars will soon come with a choice of engine sounds

According to a US road safety body, drivers of electric cars could be able to choose what their car sounds like in the near future

42w ago


It was recently decided that electric cars being silent is perhaps not as safe as the roar of a V10 engine. Imagine you're walking along a roadside and a car is coming, in most cases you will hear it and move out onto the verge. This however is not the case with electric cars.

So now electric car makers are being forced to add artificial engine sounds to their cars to make them louder and more noticeable.

US road safety body, NHTSA released regulations that all cars travelling at speeds below 19mph must make a noise, this is because any higher speeds are deemed loud loud enough because of tyre noise and wind resistance.

Initially they had specified that all electric cars must make the same noise. But, in the latest draft by NHTSA they now suggest that electric cars be allowed to make different noises and now they want to hear from the public.

In light of this car makers are now busy upgrading their car noises. Electric cars that already have artificial engine noises usually just increase the volume the battery engine, which is boring. Mercedes AMG have taken a very Rock and Roll approach by working with Linkin Park to come up with a distinctive engine sounds for their electric lineup. Whereas Nissan have been trialing a warning system to alert pedestrians when one of their electric cars is making a slow approach.

I suppose the real question to be asked here, is what do consumers want their electric cars to sound like? Somehow it doesn't seem right to me that an electric car should sound like anything other than a whisper. The 2020 deadline to make quiet cars noisier creeps ever closer.

What do you think?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

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Comments (60)

  • I think the Jetsons flying car sound should definitely be one of them.

      9 months ago
  • Auto manufacturers should partner with our Disney overlords to license sci-fi sounds from movies. Star Wars (lightsabers, TIE fighters, etc), TRON lightcycles & disk wars), and so on. I would love to see an electric sports car come flying by while screaming like a TIE fighter!

      9 months ago
  • I love electric cars, but I hate that they don't make noise!

    This is the solution!

      9 months ago
  • Ugh, this is awful. Nothing worse than canned engine noise

      9 months ago
  • The FE noise is properly cool

    alternatively, the Family Guy 'fat guy being followed by tuba player' would be awesome

      9 months ago