Noisy electric cars Watch

ThomH97
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Some more legislation from the EU, due to come into force tomorrow (Monday 1st July), will require new electric vehicles to make 'traditional engine' noises when travelling below 12mph.

This has long annoyed me, even though I can see. We teach kids to look and listen, so all cars should be audible as well as visible. This reasoning has applied to massive lorries who shout out that they are reversing, even though they are already very visible and have the white reversing lights.

The main reasoning behind this seems to be visually impaired people, though the charity Guide Dogs would like cars to make sounds at all speeds. And apparently drivers will be permitted to deactivate the devices 'if they think it is necessary' (like if you want to sneak up on someone in a car?).

I think it also leaves a bit of a gap, with there already being plenty of quiet cars out there able to sneak up on you, so to presume from now on that all cars will be audible could lead to a false sense of security.

Do you agree with this ruling (regardless of your EU opinions)? Perhaps you think it does not go far enough, and vehicles should make noise at all speeds, and not have the driver able to deactivate it. And what about the quiet cars that slipped through the net and are already out there squashing guide dogs?
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PTMalewski
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To my experience, the engine noise doesn't make any difference in the era of smarphones and headphones.

Let the evolution do it's job, that's all there is.
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nulli tertius
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(Original post by PTMalewski)
To my experience, the engine noise doesn't make any difference in the era of smarphones and headphones.

Let the evolution do it's job, that's all there is.
This isn't really about the distracted pedestrian walking out from the pavement without looking.

This is about vehicles moving silently in shared space like supermarket carparks
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PTMalewski
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(Original post by nulli tertius)
This isn't really about the distracted pedestrian walking out from the pavement without looking.

This is about vehicles moving silently in shared space like supermarket carparks
The petrol cars are already moving pricatically silently on lov rpms. What's the problem?
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nulli tertius
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(Original post by PTMalewski)
The petrol cars are already moving pricatically silently on lov rpms. What's the problem?
There are some very quiet petrol cars but they tend to be luxury vehicles used in different ways to family electric/hybrid cars. I suspect if they are seen to present a problem they will ordered to generate noise as well.
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PTMalewski
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You should listen to my Panda. No throttle, second gear, moves around making practically no noise.

I remember there was a controversy concerning rally cars regulation. The N4 class cars were making less than 100dB - this was considered dangerous as some people were walking anto the stages, not realising the car is actually not far away and moving in at maximum speed.

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CoolCavy
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Good idea, it's hard to see around my area because of twisty roads and people often speed because it's quite rural
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PTMalewski
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Unless the car is very old or pushing to full throttle, most of noise comes frim the tires anyway.
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TheMcSame
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EVs should be easily audible up to 30 MPH if you ask me. There are plenty of situations in built-up areas (mainly villages due to laxer parking restrictions and enforcement) where visibility is very poor and you have to rely almost entirely on your ears to judge whether it's safe to go or not. Matters like this aren't just about pedestrian safety but safety on and around the roads for everyone.
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PTMalewski
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Tell that to deaf people.
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-Eirlys-
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I thought they were going to add sound to them all, no matter their speed? Though I doubt it'll be as loud as a petrol/diesel car. I think most people drive faster than 12mph around pedestrians and built up areas.
(Original post by ThomH97)
Some more legislation from the EU, due to come into force tomorrow (Monday 1st July), will require new electric vehicles to make 'traditional engine' noises when travelling below 12mph.

This has long annoyed me, even though I can see. We teach kids to look and listen, so all cars should be audible as well as visible. This reasoning has applied to massive lorries who shout out that they are reversing, even though they are already very visible and have the white reversing lights.

The main reasoning behind this seems to be visually impaired people, though the charity Guide Dogs would like cars to make sounds at all speeds. And apparently drivers will be permitted to deactivate the devices 'if they think it is necessary' (like if you want to sneak up on someone in a car?).

I think it also leaves a bit of a gap, with there already being plenty of quiet cars out there able to sneak up on you, so to presume from now on that all cars will be audible could lead to a false sense of security.

Do you agree with this ruling (regardless of your EU opinions)? Perhaps you think it does not go far enough, and vehicles should make noise at all speeds, and not have the driver able to deactivate it. And what about the quiet cars that slipped through the net and are already out there squashing guide dogs?
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TG1984
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#12
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There have been a few times when I've started moving out of a parking space and there's been someone next to my EV who didn't realise I was moving and got a fright when they turned around. Pretty funny, but potentially a bit dangerous. I'm sure there is a setting somewhere at the moment for it to beep if it's going less than 15 mph, but I can't find it.
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Joinedup
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(Original post by nulli tertius)
This isn't really about the distracted pedestrian walking out from the pavement without looking.

This is about vehicles moving silently in shared space like supermarket carparks
Exactly this - had a few where I've been pushing a (non silent) supermarket trolley through a car park and had a EV creep up on me silently. The drivers haven't adapted to pedestrians not being able to hear the EV coming up behind them at slow speeds.
Also you currently get no indication whether a EV is likely to start pulling out of a parking bay.

Even with a quiet internal combustion luxury car you can drive it in a way that lets people know you're there if you want to, with an EV it's either nothing or full on blowing the horn - which a lot of people are going to be inhibited about doing as it's widely taken as an instruction to 'get out of my way' rather than as a way of letting people 2-5m away be aware that you're there.

The optimal noise might not be 'traditional engine' though - I've heard that direction perception is greatest for white noise.
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Joinedup
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(Original post by PTMalewski)
Unless the car is very old or pushing to full throttle, most of noise comes frim the tires anyway.
I don't think that's true at car park speeds on a concrete or tarmac surface... 'crunchy' surfaces like gravel can still make a bit of noise at low speed.

it's been commented on a lot since the prius launched in the UK about 20 years ago - it's taken a surprisingly long time to do anything about it IMO
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PTMalewski
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(Original post by Joinedup)
I don't think that's true at car park speeds on a concrete or tarmac surface... 'crunchy' surfaces like gravel can still make a bit of noise at low speed.

it's been commented on a lot since the prius launched in the UK about 20 years ago - it's taken a surprisingly long time to do anything about it IMO
Hmm... correct. The greatest problem is there when the car starts moving because then you really have no noise.
On the other hand, in the XIXth century, people knew they can't walk close to the back of a horse unless you wished to get kicked at your head.
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