As the world moves toward more electric vehicles, one big change is coming that many haven’t considered — cities will be getting quieter. As the “Not Just Bikes” YouTube channel says, “Cities aren’t loud; cars are loud“. They produced an excellent video that unpacks that, which can be seen here:
The big thing it make me realize, though, is that engine noise only really matters at lower speeds. At high speeds, tire noise is generally louder than the engines, so going electric won’t help as much as I had first suspected. Further, electric vehicles often weigh more than their gas-powered counterparts, which adds a bit more to the road noise that they put out. Still, eliminating engine noise at high speeds will help a bit, and for slower areas it should help quite a lot.
We’re still years before electric vehicles become the most popular type of car to purchase, and then many years beyond that before they become the majority on the road. As that transition slowly happens, hopefully more cities will take inspiration from what Delft did in the video above and work to reduce noise at every level.