Silent electric vehicles to cause new problems for NVH engineers?
Electric cars are going to bring many more and much greater challenges than that, and engineers are beginning to discuss how to overcome them. The noise, vibration and harshness culprits in an electric vehicle include battery cooling systems, HVAC fans and ducts, coils for the power electronics, and switching on range-extending engines on vehicles so-equipped. These are the kinds of noises covered up easily by engine and other low-frequency noises, but in an electric car, they can make one feel strapped into a curious contraption.
Of course, there is also the question of what to do for others who depend on the sounds of cars, such as blind pedestrians and cyclists. Sound engineering is the most talked about approach right now, but no one knows what shape this will take. Lotus Engineering created a Safe & Sound system that used a waterproof speaker to emit an make engine noise – but wasn't part of the promise of electric cars meant to be quieter cities? It's all still to play for when it comes to the future of NVH, but please please, no ringtones...
[Source: Ward's Auto | Image: Lotus Engineering]
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