GENEVA (Reuters) – Carmakers are dreaming up futuristic electric car engine sounds to ensure that pedestrians can hear vehicles that lack audible cues like high-revving, howling combustion engines, senior executives at the Geneva car show said.
As BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Mini and VW prepare to launch battery-driven vehicles, carmakers are searching for a new way to market the potency of their zero-emissions vehicles.
“The electric vehicle sound is its identity. It cannot be too intrusive or annoying. It has to be futuristic and it cannot sound like anything we had in the past. We cannot simply add the sound of a combustion engine,” Frank Welsch, responsible for technical development at Volkswagen, told Reuters.
VW’s electric cars will have speakers designed to draw the attention of pedestrians, Welsch said, standing next to a lime- green electric dune buggy being shown in Geneva.
“Performance models need to have a more assertive sound, with more bass. It cannot be a high pitched din, like a sewing machine. It has to be futuristic,” he said, adding that SUVs will have a deeper sound to reflect their bigger size.
Read more: Reuters