Electric Car Sound Debate

For 30 years, engineers have been working on making cars quiet, so the criticism that electric cars are, in fact, too quiet, seem foolish. And in my humble opinion, it is completely ridiculous, kind of like this article I just read about a UK politician’s idea to put cowbells on electric cars to make them more safe.

Most modern, four cylinder vehicles are virtually inaudible at low speeds. And at constant speeds of 30-60 mph, the most audible noise of a modern sedan is the tires rolling against the pavement and wind resistance.  Granted, at idle and extremely low speeds, an electric vehicle is basically silent compared to an internal combustion engine.  However, you cannot even notice the discrepancy unless you are within five feet of the car to begin with.

Anyway, take a listen to the Fisker Karma in action and tell me that the electric vehicle doesn’t make any noise:

Pretty similar to a jet engine spooling up. This is a perfectly acceptable amount of sound. The whole premise of a car being “too quiet” is ridiculous. Electric cars are inaudible because they are efficient. Less heat, friction, moving parts, and noise means less energy is wasted turning the wheels.

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