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ECTunes equipped vehicle – Click above to watch video after the jump

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Volt sound demonstration – Click above to watch video after the jump

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2011 Chevrolet Volt – Click above for high-res image gallery

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We can already picture all the NVH engineers huddled in some back corner crying together. After all, they just find out that the duties they held of eliminating noises from cars for decades are about to be crushed by a new safety guideline that will put noise back into electric and hybrid vehicles.

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As the popularity of hybrids has grown over the last few years, advocates for the blind have been raising a red flag about noise, or -- more to the point -- the lack of it. Because electric-drive vehicles emit much lower levels of sound on the street, blind pedestrians who've relied on the noise emitted from traditional vehicles lose a major source of information when navigating the streets and sidewalks.

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As the popularity of hybrids has grown over the last few years, advocates for the blind have been raising a red flag about noise, or – more to the point – the lack of it. Because electric-drive vehicles emit much lower levels of sound on the street, blind pedestrians who've relied on the noise emitted from traditional vehicles lose a major source of information when navigating the streets and sidewalks.

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Like to download new ring tones for your phone so that you don't sound like everybody else in the world that opts for the free cell phones from their chosen service provider? The same kind of thing is reportedly in the works for future electric cars.

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Like to download new ringtones for your phone so that you don't sound like everybody else in the world that opts for the free cell phones from their chosen service provider? The same kind of thing is reportedly in the works for future electric cars.

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click on the image above to enlarge

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