- Introduction: electric vehicles are quiet, but can they also somehow be loud at the same time?
- The history of electric vehicles: from silent to screaming
- The benefits of having a silent car: less noise pollution
- When having a silent engine might not actually be that great
- The future of electric vehicles: quieter or louder?
Introduction: electric vehicles are quiet, but can they also somehow be loud at the same time?
Electric vehicles are becoming increasingly popular as people look for ways to reduce their carbon footprint. However, some EV owners are finding that their cars can be almost silent, to the point that they aren’t even sure if the car is on or not.
People are used to getting into their cars, revving the engines and hearing the roar of the engine come to life. But with electric vehicles, this isn’t the case as there is no combustion so there is no noise. Advertisement
This is one of the reasons why manufacturers are forced to design sound effects for electric cars so that they can replicate the sound of a combustion engine when drivers start their vehicles.
It is also possible to produce a sound effect in the same way that electric cars do, by using an induction motor. In this case, the electric motor is connected to a gearbox and its rotating elements make noise that can be transmitted directly into the cabin of the car.
But Dodge is looking to change this up with their recent announcement. I will go over what they just put out in their press release in a bit. But let’s first take a look at how electric cars came to be so silent, why it can be beneficial, why it can be not so good to have a quiet car and finally we will go over what Dodge is going to do and how that fits in with the future of electric vehicles.
The history of electric vehicles: from silent to screaming
Electric vehicles have been around since the late 1800s. Inventors and tinkerers were experimenting with electric cars before gasoline cars became the norm. Electric cars remained popular through the early 1900s, but by the 1920s, gas-powered cars had become more prevalent.
The interest in electric vehicles was revived in the 1970s as oil prices spiked and concerns about air pollution mounted. ( this is pretty similar to what we are all feeling nowadays as the price per Liter, or Gallon if you are in the USA, is at record highs. But it wasn’t until the 1990s that electric vehicles began to be mass-produced. The first modern electric car was the General Motors EV1, which was introduced in 1996. We have really seen the market shift with the push that Tesla has made in the past decade. Long gone are the days when you might see one electric car a year, now I see one at least every 10 minutes.
We find that electric vehicles are becoming increasingly popular as battery technology improves and range anxiety decreases. This is coupled with the continually increasing price of gas which doesn’t seem to be going down anytime soon. Some electric carmakers are even embracing noise as a way to stand out from internal combustion chambered cars ( AKA ICE vehicles)
The benefits of having a silent car: less noise pollution
There are some benefits to having a silent car that you might not think of right away, and some that do jump out as soon as you see a car drive by without any sounds produced from its engine. For one, it means less noise pollution. Electric vehicles produce far less noise than traditional cars, and this can have a positive impact on the environment. Another nice thing about the lack of engine sounds it that sometimes you might not want to hear the hum of the engine while you drive. This could make your silent car more relaxing to drive.
I think of the distant future when we aren’t even driving ourselves anymore and it is more like Robo taxis. Imagine getting in and it is just like a couch on wheels, having a silent engine would allow you to talk to each other without shouting. I think that is a bit off in the future, but when you think of it we already have heavily assisted driver capabilities. Hondas RLX recently got level 3 driving, which is basically hands-off for a bit. It is not meant to be used all the time as that is level 4. But the impressive thing is that Honda has said they will be at level 4 , which is like the robo taxi idea I was mentioning by 2030!
When having a silent engine might not actually be that great
While Electric vehicles are becoming more popular it is easy to overlook their shortcomings. So while a silent engine sounds great, the truth is that it actually can leave external sounds creeping in. While normal internal combustion engines make sounds from burning gas and their other moving parts electric vehicles are the opposite and can be totally silent. Sounds great right? Well, maybe not as that engine sound actually covers up the noise of the tires on the road, the wind passing, and other ambient sounds. So while the engine used to cover up those sounds they can now sound really loud because there is nothing else filling the cabin.
Some people have commented that the wind noise in electric vehicles is very loud, but the truth is that it is probably the same as in a gas or diesel car but now there is no engine noise to cover it up.
Another issue with the lack of noise is for people outside the car. For pedestrians, who might not hear an approaching, it might mean more accidents as they won’t hear a car until it’s too late. But there may be a solution on the horizon.
The future of electric vehicles: quieter or louder?
So while there are pros and cons of having a silent running engine we take a look at Dodge’s recent announcement. Dodge knows that its target audience likes muscle cars and wants to hear sounds. So I was reading their press release and they basically said that they are adding baffles ( or little walls ) so that the engine makes sounds.
They are also adding transmissions, which electric cars actually don’t need by design. So it is odd that they are somewhat trying to re-invent the wheel, but impressive that they are thinking of their customers enough to try to change the technology.
I think this is great as it shows a company that listens and tries to give its customers what they are asking for. If , by any chance, you don’t feel like learning about these electric engines make sure you check out our tech blog for recent updates !
Not long ago, electric vehicles were a rarity on the roads. Today, they’re becoming more and more common. And as battery technology continues to improve, I can expect to see even more of them in the years to come. But there’s one potential downside to this trend: electric vehicles are often much quieter than their gasoline-powered counterparts. So while it might sound awesome, there are some pretty decent-sized issues I went over above.
As cities around the world work to reduce noise pollution, a new type of electric vehicle is on the rise that is sure to turn heads – and not just because of its quiet engine. These “loud electric vehicles” are designed to make a statement, with eye-catching exteriors and often oversized dimensions. Some see them as a welcome addition to the streetscape, while others worry about the potential for excessive noise. And as I read in the Dodge release some companies are thinking about fixing these issues and keeping their customers in mind.