“Hear” comes the e-cars!


The H&S wallahs are clambering on to the e-bandwagon already, claiming that the forthcoming electric vehicles will be dangerous, because pedestrians will not hear them approaching.

Getting ready for the legislation is Delphi who announced that they will start supplying low-cost “sound generators” to an unnamed European car maker – probably GM off-shoot Opel, which will soon start selling European market versions of the Chevrolet Volt electric car.

Delphi said the sound generators were “designed to comply with legislation expected to mandate minimal sound for both hybrid and electric vehicles.  Industry analysts predict hybrid and electric vehicle warning sounds, already covered by guidelines in Japan, will be required in North America and Europe in the near future,” the company said in a press release.

Electric SLS Mercedes Electric SLS Mercedes

According to Delphi, the system has enough flexibility in its frequency range to “reproduce melodies that represent the identity of individual vehicle manufacturers.”  So I presume that a top of the line hybrid Mercedes will get a booming Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony – “Dit, Dit, Dit, Dah” and an electric Camaro will get the sound track from Bonnie and Clyde … the mind boggles.

Electric milk carts have been in use in the UK for decades.  I wonder how many unsuspecting morning joggers have been mown down by the milk machines?  I will take a guess at zero.

While automakers are trying to produce the quietest cars, here are the H&S lot trying to make them noisy again.  Any vehicle, even rolling along with the engine turned off, makes an audible sound from the loaded tyre tread on the bitumen.  Do we need more noise pollution?