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Daimler Adding Fake Engine Noise to Electric Smarts and Mercedes

Electric cars in the EU are required to make a sound in 2014

 
 
Slideshow
The Smart Electric Drive creates an artificial sound that gets louder, the farther the accelerator is depressed

DaimlerDaimlerDaimlerGermany, 1889 > present12 models
77 photos
1 video
has put engineers on the task of making electric cars safer for pedestrians, specifically by making them sound like they have combustion engines.

Regulation in the EU mandates that automakers add some kind of warning noise to electric models in 2014. The problem is that because electric motors are so quiet at low speeds that pedestrians and other drivers may not notice them.

For example, the electric SmartFortwo Electric Drivesmart Fortwo Electric DriveGermany, 2012 > present10 photos
has what Daimler engineer Christoph Meier calls a “sonorous purring” that has a higher pitch than a combustion engine so that people pay attention. As drivers press more on the accelerator, the sound gets louder. For the SLS AMG Electric DriveSLS AMG Coupé Electric DriveMercedes-Benz SLS AMG Cou...Germany, 2013 > present5 photos
, his team gave it a lower, more aggressive tone.

“People expect some exterior noise from a vehicle, because we all grew up with the ‘vroom vroom’ of combustion engines,” said Meier.

Different automakers have found different solutions to the artificial sound problem. RenaultRenaultRenaultFrance, 1898 > present189 models
6115 photos
17 videos
allows drivers to select from three different sounds for its cars.

Some are trying to avoid the added noise because they feel that the added noise take away one of the advantages of electric vehicles. The BMW i3i3BMW i3Germany, 2014 > present9 photos
will have added noise in Europe to meet legislation but will not in other markets. The same is true of the Volkswagen e-Upe-up!Volkswagen e-up!Germany, 2013 > present7 photos
.

Source: Automotive News

Encyclopedia
smartsmart
FortwoFortwo
Fortwo Gen.2Fortwo Gen.2
Fortwo Electric DriveFortwo Electric Drive
Engine
--
Battery Type
--
Top Speed
62 mph
Transmission
--
Maximum power
--
Type
Fixed-head coupé
Fuel
Electric
Range
--
price
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annual ownership cost
$ 174

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