Electric Car Owners Can Say Goodbye to Silent Runnings

Electric cars are silent on the road. It’s slightly cool, a little dangerous, and about to be regulated.

Electric cars are almost silent. Really, the only noise you hear from them as they pass by is the sound of their tires on the pavement, or maybe even the noise from the radio blasting inside. This can be seen as a cool function when you watch an electric car start up and realize there’s no engine noise. It also can prove to be more than a little dangerous when an electric car surprises you as it zips past you in the crosswalk when you hadn’t heard it approaching.

That’s all going to change soon.

The National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has ruled that electric cars will need to produce noise by 2019. This noise, will of course be artificial. Carmakers will have to utilize external speakers to produce this noise.

The question is, what will the noise be? Will it be an imitation of the engine noise we’re used to hearing? It doesn’t have to be. Personally, I hope it’s not. I’d like to see some non-automotive noises. Perhaps a bloop-bloop-bloop of bubbles? Or maybe some fun animal noises? I somehow doubt it, but I want it.

In fact, the noise that these cars produce will even be regulated, with some very specific requirements. The requirements for the noise are as follow;

“make noise whenever a car is idling, accelerating to 19 mph, or is in reverse. The NHTSA characterizes these “simple” noises as two or four tones between 315 and 5000 hertz, separated in one-third-octave intervals. Additionally, the volume must go up by three decibels for every 6-mph increase in speed. Electric cars must make the sounds between 47 and 67 decibels.”- Digital Trends

Ok, so perhaps the noises that I want to hear won’t work. So how about this? How about we get reproduced engine noises of some famous cars from the past? The General Lee? KITT? How about Chitty Chitty Bang Bang? I’d jump on board for that!