Should Electric Cars Make Noise?

Nissan Leaf
Nissan Leaf

While electric vehicles, EV make less noise than their gas powered counterparts, there is talk about giving them a voice… or in this case, noise.

The gist is that EVs are inherently close to silent.  We say close to silent because most actually are not.  An electric motor whizzes and most EVs emit a sound, although nothing compared to what an internal combustion engine, ICE car does.  While many are happy that EVs are heralding an era of quieter transportation, others also fear the dangerous consequences of EV no being heard.  Should EVs make noise?

To Make Noise, Or Not.  That Is The Question.  Unfortunately, there is probably no clear cut answer for this strange new dilemma.  While we can welcome the lack of noise an EV makes, it still makes a sound, although it might be enough for the hearing impaired folks.  While some companies are toying with an elegant solution of giving EVs prerecorded sounds the driver would chose from, other deplore the idea of loud cars on the roads again.

Ultimately, there is a dire need for consumer education and how pedestrians use the streets.  While any intelligent EV drivers recognizes the fact that his car makes little noise, they are also careful approaching street corners and danger zones, much more than in a regular car.  As Paul Scott, Vice President at Plug In America mentioned, it is very easy recording an MP3 alert that would act as a horn sound.  In fact, you could even personalize it by saying something to the extent of: “Careful, car approaching!”

So do EVs have to make sounds?