One unique aspect of EVs is the sounds they produce, or rather, the sounds they lack. In this blog, we’ll explore the reasons behind why EVs make noises, the regulations governing these sounds, and how they impact both pedestrians and drivers.
EVs are celebrated for their whisper-quiet operation, thanks to their electric motors, which generate significantly less noise compared to traditional internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles. While this silence is appreciated by many, it has raised concerns about pedestrian safety. Imagine crossing a street, unable to hear an approaching vehicle.
My Ford Lightning makes a low tone “woosh” noise at at slow speeds forward, and sounds like you left your ATM card in the teller machine in reverse lol!
To address this safety issue, governments worldwide have introduced regulations. In the United States, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) mandates that EVs must emit sounds when traveling at speeds below 18.6 mph (30 km/h). The objective is to alert pedestrians to the presence of otherwise stealthy EVs.
Some EV manufacturers take sound generation a step further by allowing drivers to select the sounds their vehicles emit. This not only adds a personal touch to the driving experience but also ensures that the noise aligns with the driver’s preferences. Have you heard the different ones from Tesla?
Another intriguing feature is the inclusion of artificial engine noise in some EVs. This function mimics the sounds of a traditional combustion engine, providing a sense of familiarity for drivers transitioning from ICE vehicles to EVs. It’s a way to bridge the gap between the two technologies….. Sort of reminds me when horse and carriage were transitioning to vehicles lol
In summary, the curious sounds emanating from electric vehicles serve crucial purposes. Safety regulations ensure that pedestrians can hear approaching EVs, enhancing road safety. Customizable sounds add a personal dimension to the driving experience, while simulated engine noises offer a reassuring touch of familiarity for those making the switch to EVs. As electric vehicles continue to reshape the automotive landscape, these sounds are becoming an integral part of the EV experience. So, next time you hear a peculiar noise from an EV, remember that it’s not just a quirk – it’s a symphony of safety and choice in the world of electric mobility.
CEO – ABR Houston
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