• Thomas Lankester Posted: 1/7/2011 3:46am PST

    This article only looks at the safety benefits of car sounds whilst ignoring the negative health effects of background noise on those living near highways (http://www.un.org/earthwatch/health/noisepollution.html).

  • suzannekane avatar suzannekane Posted: 1/7/2011 9:31am PST

    Thomas, thanks for the comment on health effect of background noise on those living near highways. As U.S. President Barack Obama has just signed the Pedestrian Safety Act of 2010 into law, there will be standards developed governing the sound that EVs and plug-in hybrids will be required to make when traveling at low speed levels (i.e. 20 mph and under). As you know, at speed on electric, they are soundless. So it doesn't seem as if too much sound will be an issue here. Thanks again for the comment and the link.

  • Brian Posted: 1/7/2011 11:02am PST

    Hopefully the law applies to all cars, not just electric. There was a study in the 90's using blind test subjects that found some gas cars were harder to hear than electric ones. EV's do make tire noise. I have over 85,000 miles of EV driving and have never had a close call with a pedestrian.

  • CT Posted: 1/7/2011 11:03am PST

    I find this entertaining. Imagine the possibilities! Downloadable and customizable "drive tones". Pop music, rude sounds. Neighborhoods will never be the same!
    That said, the overall result of this law, with the

  • suzannekane avatar suzannekane Posted: 1/7/2011 1:15pm PST

    Brian, good point about EVs and tire noise. And congrats on your 85 thousand plus EV driving -- and no close pedestrian calls. CT, cute comment, but I'm interested in what got left out of your post?

  • Morton Abramson Posted: 1/9/2011 11:43am PST

    Golly gee, folks! Have they already rescinded the law which requires someone to be walking in front of a horseless carriage waving a red flag or a red lantern to avoid frightening the horses?

  • suzannekane avatar suzannekane Posted: 1/9/2011 3:10pm PST

    Morton, great visual. But I'm sure pedestrians heard (and smelled) the horse-powered carriage in time...

  • Matt Posted: 1/10/2011 6:43am PST

    The current generation of EV's are a white elephant because of what the owner faces when it comes time to trade these in. Who is going to want to buy one of these things when it has 80k plus miles on it knowing that the the battery is only warrented for 100k miles? Can you immagine what the cost will be to replace the battery bank?! Guess who's going to take the hit come tade in time? It sure won't be the dealer! There goes the savings in the MPG's that the EV gave to the owner.
    Plus who ever buys an EV are stuck with having to go to their dealer to have it service. I'd don't think too many Mom & Pop shops are ready to service EV's.
    I'm not really sure the US's outdated electrical grid is ready for the demand of EV's. People forget how many brown about days the US experienced during a really hot summer season when AC's were cranked up.
    I'll stay away from EV's until these issued are resolved.

  • suzannekane avatar suzannekane Posted: 1/10/2011 10:31am PST

    Matt, you certainly raise some valid points. There are still many issues to be worked out before EVs become solidly mainstream. Brownouts and high electric bills are just two that hit consumers big time. Thanks for the comments.