Even though many of us would rather see electric vehicles whiz by in utter silence, the powers that be insist that noise is mandatory. As automakers scramble to find the perfect auditory tones for plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) and battery-electric vehicles (BEVs), we are eagerly awaiting to hear the sounds of the vehicles of tomorrow. Will it be a futuristic sci-fi shriek, the classic burble of a V8 or something totally unexpected?
Many automakers are mum, choosing not to reveal the sound until some later date, but General Motors did hint at what we can expect to emanate from the Volt. According to Micky Bly, General Motors' executive director for hybrid electric vehicles and batteries, the Chevy Volt's sound can be closely approximated by, "bruup, bruup." We'll have to wait to hear it to give a better description of exactly what "bruup" sounds like, but Bly adds that it will be, "like the low tone of a horn, but nonstartling."
In typical Nissan fashion, the company has built up the hype for its Leaf sound debut. The noise will be officially, official within two weeks when the company introduces it at a media event in Japan. As Nissan's director of product planning Mark Perry told the New York Times' Jim Motavalli, "It's a little too early to disclose it, but when we do, you'll understand the work that went into it from our audio guys." Nissan's treating it like some highly-regarded trade secret with a debut date, whereas GM released the "bruup" on us with no audio clip to go with it. It's just a noise, how important can it be?