Why Do Electric Vehicles Not Produce Sound?


The biggest selling points of electric vehicles are running on energy, reducing a car’s environmental impact, and how quiet they are. Even though having a quiet car can be beneficial, there have been many cases where pedestrians or animals are killed because they were unaware of a silent electric vehicle that is around them.

So, why do electric vehicles not produce sound? Electric vehicles do not produce sound because they are drawing power from a battery, meaning power is coming from a silent electric charge. This process is much quieter than regular gas cars because these rely on louder internal combustion for power.

With this lack of sound, many accidents could occur. But since this is a fairly new technology, more advancements will be made over time. Electric vehicles are becoming a bigger part of our daily lives, and we should be aware of what electric vehicles can do, good and bad. This article will teach you why electric cars are so quiet, and what dangers go along with them.

Why Electric Vehicles Don’t Produce Sound

This battery will transfer power into an electric motor that will then transfer the energy into the wheels. This energy is also transferred into the cab of the car so the driver can use things like the air conditioner, cooled seats, GPS, etc. Unlike cars with internal combustion, electric vehicles do not use gas. Internal combustion engines are much louder because the combustion of the fuel creates pressure in the cylinder. This leads to a much louder sound because the engine needs to get rid of the fuel which leads to the sound you hear on the road every day.

Since the electricity in electric vehicles is silent, the only sounds made are the wheels against the road and the wind resistance when you are traveling at high speeds. Wind resistance and wheel friction also make sound with internal combustion cars, but it is covered by the sound of the engine. The lack of sound can be a great danger to pedestrians, but that will be mentioned later in the article. When you are traveling at a higher speed, (like on a freeway) you will be able to hear your electric vehicle make more sound because of the wind flowing around your car.

Once you have used your car for the day, you will need to charge it. When your car is charging, there is no sound produced. The car is charged using grid electricity. The grid stores unused energy when the car is idle, or when the car is charging. This grid is partly responsible for how quiet electric cars are because they create a smooth flow of energy to all of the parts of an electric car. The battery is also extremely quiet because it sends energy right into the motor. This all creates a smooth circuit in which the car can run very smoothly and silently.

Do Electric Cars Need To Make Sound?

Electric cars now need to make a sound when they are going around 19 mph, due to a federal law called the “quiet car” rule. Pedestrians, animals, cyclists, and others with impaired senses cannot hear the car coming. This can cause an accident, or even turn into something fatal. Even animals rely on the sound cars make in order to survive in cities. Tesla was recently under fire because their cars kept killing animals because of how quiet they were at slow speeds. This has been a reoccurring problem for quite a long time, and car manufacturers are creating new technology to avoid these accidents.

Electric cars are now using warning noises to alert the driver in order to avoid accidents. When an electric car drives close to things like animals, people, or even garbage cans, beeping noises are made in order to alert the driver about the objects around them. This has helped to prevent many accidents in the past. New technology is coming out that will alert drivers to even more obstacles in the roadways and this will greatly help the self-driving feature operate more smoothly in the future.

A law in the UK states that electric cars need to make sounds when they are going around 12 mph. This will prevent people from being hit, even when the cars are going through low-speed zones, such as a neighborhood or a parking lot. Parking lots can be very dangerous when electric vehicles are involved because if a pedestrian doesn’t look one way, they would not hear the car pulling up behind them.

As for the US, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or the NHTSA introduced the “quiet care rule.” This rule states that any electric car going above 19 mph needs to make sounds for the safety of everyone around the car. This “rule” was created because pedestrians were getting hit by an electric car, more often than a regular one, because electric cars are so quiet.  

The Dangers Of Not Having Sound In An EV

As stated above, the problems with not having sound produced is the danger it poses to

  • Pedestrians
  • Animals
  • Cyclists
  • The visually impaired
  • Other vehicles

All of the things on this list rely on a car’s ability to make sound in order to keep themselves safe near, or on roadways.

Many laws have been made on this topic because of the dangers that electrical vehicles pose to people, animals, or cars. There have been many cases when pedestrians attempt to cross a road, but do not look both ways because they rely on a car’s sound. These pedestrians can then come into situations that put them in danger. Such is the case with animals. In another set of events, a car could start to change lanes, but not look for cars in the other lanes because they rely on a car’s sound. This would then create an accident or even a pileup.

Even though many accidents could occur because of electric vehicles, there are many warning sounds for the driver of the car and the pedestrians. These sounds are made in order to make people aware that there is a quiet electric car near them.

Is It Bad When An Electric Vehicle Makes Sound?

Electric vehicles have many options in their noise settings. But even if there is something wrong with the car, there will usually be no new sound emitted from the car. However, there are many things that can make sounds in an electric vehicle including warning sounds (for obstacles in the road), and fake noise.

Warning sounds have been in electric cars for a long time (the first electric car with warning noises was the Nissan Leaf). Warning sounds are not only for object warnings but also for problems that could happen with the car itself. As stated above, warning sounds are mainly for alerting pedestrians to an electric car’s presence. There are also sounds inside the car that alerts the driver to objects in the roadway, like animals, garbage cans, or people. This helps the self-drive option operate.

Fake noise is a recently added feature that is used for the safety of others and to fix the problem of silent cars. It is not only used in showrooms but is now showing up on the road due to laws that were previously mentioned. This will help to alert pedestrians to a car nearby, because they may sound like cars that they are used to. Electric cars in the EU have artificial sound in order to protect their road users. This fake sound will feed through the car’s audio systems.

Conclusion

Since electric vehicles are becoming much more prominent on our roads, it is important for us to know their dangers. But with the knowledge from this article, we know that governments are regulating electric cars in order to protect their road users. There will always be dangers associated with cars of any kind, but with knowledge from the past, we will be able to fix them. For example, when electric cars do not make any sound, car companies will then create artificial sounds for the safety of pedestrians in order to prevent further accidents.

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