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Can Electric Cars Make Noise? From The Inside and Outside

Electric cars are becoming more and more popular, and for a good reason- they’re eco-friendly, save on gas, and are much quieter than traditional gas cars. But can electric cars make noise?

Electric cars can make noise if owners install artificial sounds into the car. These sounds can make the car sound like it has a traditional gas engine, or they can be customized to make other noises. Although these cars are usually quiet, owners should install artificial sounds for safety reasons.

Read on for more information on why electric vehicles are generally silent and why some owners add artificial sounds to their cars.

How Much Noise Does an EV Make?

In general, EVs make up to 40 decibels of noise, which is equivalent to the sound of a humming fridge. Since these vehicles lack an internal combustion engine, they are virtually silent, except for tire and wind noise.

Also, since electric cars have a single-speed transmission, they do not produce gear noise. In addition, EVs do not make exhaust or fuel-pumping noise. However, recent regulations require manufacturers to add artificial noise to electric vehicles- mainly so pedestrians and the blind can hear them.

In an intriguing experiment, the YouTube channel, RSymons RSEV, compared the amount of noise different EVs make and the results were as highlighted in the following video:

Tip: For additional insights into how an EV works, what to look for when buying one, and its pros and cons, I recommend reading The Ultimate Guide for Understanding the Electric Car And What You Need to Know (available on Amazon.com).

How Much Noise Do EVs Make From the Inside?

Generally, EVs do not produce much noise from the inside due to the absence of engine noise. However, drivers may hear the sounds of cooling fans when driving at lower speeds and tire and wind noise when driving at higher speeds.

Besides the lack of an engine, several factors contribute to this feature of EVs. For example, most EVs feature sound insulation and sound-absorbing materials, such as foam and carpeting.

Also, EVs use lightweight electric motors with thin stators that further reduce noise levels. Further, powertrain components such as transmission and differentials are noiseless since they do not need to transfer engine torque.

In addition, EVs utilize direct drive systems without intermediaries. To make EVs more audible from the inside, most manufacturers have added artificial noises to their vehicles’ sound systems.

Driving-A-Tesla-Over-The-San-Franciso-Bridge
Electric cars are becoming more popular, thanks to their impressive features, such as being eco-friendly and quiet. However, some people may find them too quiet, as they can’t hear these cars coming until it’s too late. This is especially a concern for the visually impaired. Photo @permagrinfilms via Twenty20

How Much Road Noise Do the Tires of EV’s Make?

When it comes to noise, the tires on an electric car are just as important as those in a traditional vehicle. Nonetheless, many EVs come equipped with tires that help minimize road noise.

On average, EV tires generate 83-108 decibels of noise at speeds ranging between 30 km/h and 80 km/h. Besides, tire features and the surface type affects the amount of noise EV tires make. For example, EVs produce the least noise on poroelastic surfaces.

Road-City-Bridge-Night-Highway-Trees-Buildings-Lights-Roads-Skyscrapers-Flat-Bridges-Urban-View

We found out if Electric Cars Will Make Motorways Quieter. Check it out!

At the moment, the T1113 is the quietest tire on the market. According to a study published in the Proceedings of Euronoise Journal, the T1113 generates 104 decibels of noise at 80 km/h and was designed specifically for electric cars — it has a narrow tread and a wide outer diameter.

On the contrary, the study established that the T1075 is the loudest EV tire. Unlike the T1113, T1075 has a wider tread and a narrower diameter.

T1075T1083T1095T1113
30 km/h86 dB84 dB83 dBLess than 80 dB
50 km/h95 dB93 dB92 dB92 dB
80 km/h108 dB105 dB104 dB104 dB
Here’s a table comparing the amount of noise the primary EV tire types make at different speeds.

Which EVs Make the Most Amount of Noise and Why? 

As mentioned earlier, some EV manufacturers have added artificial noises to their cars to make them more audible from the inside. However, not all EVs are created equal when it comes to noise levels. In fact, some electric cars are much louder than others.

McMurtry Spierling makes the loudest noise among all EV manufacturers. Besides, the Rolls Royce Spectre is considered to be another loud electric car.

The McMurtry Spierling is loud since it features a massive fan at the car’s rear. This fan is used to offer downforce, essential for high-performance electric cars.

The Rolls Royce Spectre is loud because engineers tuned the rear seat frame and trunk to vibrate at low frequency. This makes the car sound louder than it actually is.

On a somewhat similar note, I also wrote a related article about All the Best Tesla Sounds and Noises To Get To Know. Feel free to have a look! I’ve included some funky favorite bass sounds of my own!

Infographic: Self-Driving Cars Still Cause For Concern For Pedestrains | Statista You will find more infographics at Statista

What Is Fart Mode?

Among all the artificial noises that EV manufacturers have added to their cars, fart mode is probably one of the most infamous. But what exactly is it, and how do you activate it?

Fart mode refers to the farting sound some Teslas emit when users press the “fart on demand” or “fart using turn” signal in Emissions Testing Mode. Tesla owners can use this feature to get the attention of pedestrians outside and cyclists nearby.

Here’s how to activate the fart mode on your Tesla:

  1. Open the Application Launcher on your Tesla screen
  2. Tap on the menu item labeled “Tesla Toy Box.”
  3. Tap on the cushion icon to open the Emissions Testing Mode
  4. Choose your preferred fart sound
  5. Select the seat you want the sound to come from
  6. Press the left steering button

Why Do Teslas Sound Like Spaceships?

Back in 2016, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released a set of regulations that require electric cars to produce sounds that can warn pedestrians, especially those who are blind or have low vision. According to these regulations, all EVs must produce sounds that are both loud and unique to be easily identified.

Therefore, Teslas sound like spaceships to comply with NHTSA requirements on producing sounds to alert inattentive pedestrians or those with visual impairments and prevent accidents.

Can Electric Cars Sound Good?

Currently, electric cars are not known for their great sound quality. In fact, many people find them to be quite bland and uninspiring. This is mainly because electric motors don’t make the same noise as gas-powered engines.

Nonetheless, electric cars can sound good if owners request custom upgrades that include the necessary artificial noises. For example, Porsche offers a “sport sound package” for its electric cars that features simulated engine noise.

EV Speedy’s Take

That’s why some EV manufacturers have added artificial noises to their cars to make them more audible.

These noises range from the mundane (fart mode) to the exotic (spaceship sounds).

Finally, while electric cars may not be known for their great sound quality, owners can easily change this with a custom upgrade. 


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Erwin Meyer
Erwin Meyer

Thanks for visiting evspeedy.com. The goal of this site is to be a helpful resource for Tesla and EV owners as this is where my passion lies. I was a TSLA shareholder before the hype and still am. I also believe in Tesla’s speedy mission to accelerate the world to a sustainable future.