EU legislation, introduced July 2019, requires all new four-wheeled electric and hybrid vehicles to have acoustic vehicle alert systems (AVAS) that make an audible warning sound when travelling at speeds of 12mph (20km/hr) or less. They cannot be switched off by the driver. The sounds are not standardised so each manufacturer is developing their own sounds.
Two example sounds from Nissan Electric:
This is the sound the electric Leaf makes when driving at low speeds.
This sound will play when the car moves backward at low speeds.
Nissan Leaf EV Reverse Sound
Image source: https://www.automotive-iq.com
Hear a full binaural soundscape of London’s future streets
What might London’s future streets sound like?
Source: Radio 4 Today Programme 10 Sep 2018
“This month marks the 90th anniversary of the first sound recordings of Britain’s streets. But what will the streets of the future sound like once electric and automated cars begin to replace the internal combustion engine? A music company which creates the sounds for tomorrow’s electric cars has created a binaural soundscape of what it thinks the streets of tomorrow will sound like. Narrated by Man Made Music’s Joel Beckerman.”