As electric cars take to the streets, our urban soundscape will change forever.
As anyone who’s watched (and heard) Formula E will know, electric vehicles (BEVs) are much quieter than those with internal combustion engines. Indeed, this relatively quiet factor has allowed Formula E races to be hosted in urban environments where Formula 1 would struggle, and makes Formula E more compatible with built-up and densely populated surroundings.
Such quietness will also be a feature of the new electric road vehicles from Jaguar, and so it is particularly good news for towns and cities – for drivers and residents alike. But that level of "hush" has potential challenges too.
Jaguar vehicles have always had a reputation for sounding great, and the new electric vehicle from Jaguar will be no different, but in order to be safely heard at low speeds it has to emit a new type of sound to alert other road users to its oncoming presence and direction. Equally, at other times, the sound needs to engage the driver and give feedback about the car’s dynamic progress. As to what these various sounds will be, customers will have to wait until they can test-drive the production model, on sale from 2018.
Images show the I-PACE Concept Vehicle. Production vehicle may vary in final styling, finish details and fitment of driver controls. All figures for acceleration, power, speed, range and charging are manufacturer’s estimates on best information available at publishing. Production vehicles will be tested and certified prior to release, with official figures available prior to any customer order.