What should EVs sound like?

December 15, 2011 at 2:04 pm

HARMAN, the global leading supplier of premium audio and infotainment systems, announced today the results of a survey it commissioned to help identify the types of sounds consumers want future electric cars to make.

The majority of respondents want electric cars to sound like their current cars, consumers in the survey said they expect that car manufacturers will have a distinctive sound for each auto brand, suggesting opportunities for signature sounds and differentiation that isn’t available today. This study will be used to help car makers define the type and level of sound for electric vehicles, supporting an increased focus on sensory cues as a way to subconsciously communicate their brands while still improving safety.

Although a majority of respondents want the sound of a conventional car, family car drivers suggest that quieter, smoother, humming sounds are appropriate for electric vehicles.  Female respondents and families are significantly more likely to want quieter / less powerful sounds compared to males.  And while electric cars don’t typically use conventional gearboxes that need shifting, consumers want the sound linked to acceleration. Audible gear shift points in these vehicles will become a particularly desirable feature for sports car owners keen to hear a more ‘authentic’ sound.

I’m not sure if i like the idea of the sounds being ‘branded’. I think if the purpose of the noise is to increase safety then the number criteria for the noise should be that it is easy to hear and locate the direction that it is coming from. If we allow the noises to be specific to the brand of vehicle we have already missed the point.

FedEx Goes Electric

December 14, 2011 at 1:58 pm

FedEx Express is trying out a new electric delivery vehicle using technology from the world’s first mass-market all-electric car, the Nissan LEAF.

A two-month trial is underway in London that aims to assess how the electric vehicle, an all-electric version of the Nissan NV200, copes with the demands of daily deliveries in the UK capital. The prototype NV200 EV uses the same drive technology and battery as the Nissan LEAF, a family car that rolled out to the mass market for the first time at the start of the year, since when 20,000 have been sold. The LEAF has a range of up to 100 miles on a single charge, according to the manufacturer.

FedEx said the trial was part of its efforts to reduce dependence on petroleum, cut carbon emissions and eliminate tailpipe pollution.

FedEx Express already operates 43 all-electric vehicles it is trying out in London, Paris, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Memphis.

The company said the NV200 would be particularly well-suited to uses in congested city streets where air quality is poor, since it has zero tailpipe emissions. The vehicle can be charged overnight conventionally, or by using a quick charger the battery can be taken up to 80% capacity in just 30 minutes.

I assumed that FedEx vans typically traveled significantly more than 100 miles in one day but i guess if the van is located in a congested area of the city they may not travel very many miles at all. Well done to FedEx for making the first steps towards a switch. Good luck.

International Motorcycle Show – Long Beach 2011

December 1, 2011 at 3:18 pm

On Friday 9th December the International Motorcycle Show rolls into Long Beach, California for what promises to be an amazing weekend.

Brammo will be there in full force come and see the Enertia, Empulse, Engage and Encite up close.

The 2011TTXGP Championship winning race bike the Brammo Empulse RR will be there, as will Steve Atlas our Championship winning rider- and the Brammo umbrella girls!

Stand 251, Hall C
International Motorcycle Show
Long Beach Convention Center
300 E. Ocean Blvd.
Long Beach, CA 90802


Show Hours:
Friday, December 9 4:00pm-9:00pm
Saturday, December 10 9:30am-8:00pm
Sunday, December 11 9:30am-5:00pm

Attendee Parking:
Autos: $10
Motorcycles: Free

Hope to see you there!