EV Silence Reduces Stress, Improves Mood

MAY 6 2015 BY MARK KANE 24

Plug-In Cars Available In UK

Plug-In Cars Available In UK

The Go Ultra Low campaign (set up by the UK automotive industry and the public sector) released interesting research results about one of the most important benefits of plug-in cars – the silence.

Car manufacturers supporting the Go Ultra Low consortium proved that interior noise levels in EVs can be up to 6dB(A) lower than in conventionally-powered equivalents. 6dB(A) is a significant difference and, of course, when you stop you don’t hear anything from the electric motor.

Drivers and passengers enjoy silence.

“According to new research, 70% of motorists believe that a quieter cabin would help improve their mood and reduce stress during the time they spend in the car. The findings suggest that making journeys in an electric vehicle – renowned for the quietness of their interiors compared with road cars powered by internal combustion engines – can help keep driver and passengers happier.”

“The new research also found that 74% of the UK’s car-driving population above 30 years-old desire “more ‘quiet time’ in everyday life”, with 83% of the same group believing that “Britain is a much nosier place compared with 10 years ago.”

Commenting on the findings, motoring journalist Quentin Willson said:

“When you start driving an electric vehicle the first thing you notice is the quietness of the cabin. Rather than it being a novelty, this can have a positive effect on your well-being. We all know how stressful car travel can be – I’ve found the electric motor can turn journeys into a zen-like experience!”

Here is more about the impact of noise:

According to noise experts, fluctuations in sound levels can have a real impact on our emotions.

Professor Duncan Williams, psycho-acoustician at Plymouth University, said: “Many of the sounds people find most annoying and stressful are dynamic – this is no surprise as humans are neurologically ‘hard-wired’ to respond to such noise. What makes this annoying is when the noises are beyond our control – they are basically unwelcome intruders into our personal space.”

While the research found that the ability to enjoy a ‘quiet’ car journey is important to the majority of motorists, eight out of 10 participants also believed that a reduction in car engine noise would allow them to hold better conversations with passengers and increase their enjoyment of music.

“Music has been shown to be a great mediator of moods,” added Professor Williams. “It has a clear effect on the brain, and is often prescribed in therapeutic contexts.”

To listen to and download an audio feature on the impact of interior car noise, including sound samples and the expert opinion of Quentin Willson and Dr. Duncan Williams, please visit: www.goultralow.com/blog.

Earlier in 2015 Go Ultra Low identified that around 11.5 million motorists travel no further than 80 miles in a single journey in a typical year, making them perfectly placed to benefit from the lowest cost, tax-free motoring by switching to pure electric vehicles. This would equate to savings per driver of around £860 per year in fuel and tax.”

“*The research for Go Ultra Low was carried out between: 19 March 2015 and 23 March 2015 on a sample of 1,184 UK car drivers aged 30-years and above.”

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24 Comments on "EV Silence Reduces Stress, Improves Mood"

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Hmmm, now this is the sort of ads we need more and more

No, seriously, some guy buying a hugely expensive i3 saying that the car is saving him some 2k or something (compared to an America v8) Euro every year just doesn’t make any sense


Hi Ricardo,

I own i3.

I use to spend 500.00/month on petrol for my previous car. Now I hardly need any petrol for my daily needs.

i3 has saved me atleast 5,500.00 on petrol for one year now.

Also, no road tax or congestion charge for London. That saved me another 2000.00 for one year.

Then as I bought the car as company car – it qualified for capital gains allowance which saved med 10,000.00.

So net savings for me in one year 17,500.00.

It is a wonderful car.
I love the quietness in the car and the classical music sound so sumptuous in it.


“proved that interior noise levels in EVs can be up to 6dB(A) lower than in conventionally-powered equivalents.”
At what speed? I’d like to know the difference at 70mph.

This. My Leaf suits me fine but at highway speeds the road noise is very noticeable.

While I can’t speak for anyone else, I can say that the very low interior noise level in our Leaf is one of my wife’s and my favorite features. We often drive without even playing music, just so we can talk quietly without having to compete with engine noise.

When I took a customer survey from Nissan recently, one of the things I asked them to change in the Leaf was the design of the HVAC system to make it quieter. On high settings it’s pretty whooshy, which is quite noticeable in such a quiet car.

Also, parking lots are safer…. as we find ourselves wanting drive around slowly (with the windows down) to hear the cool “blade runner” sound. 😉

Here’s a great TED Talk dealing with this exact issue.

Julian Treasure: The 4 ways sound affects us

Totally anecdotal, but the zen experience of electric drive has definitely resulted in my being more relaxed. It’s also changed my driving style, and driving slower has made the experience even more relaxing.


I love driving efficiently.

My car is never silent, i always have music playing

This is not news to me; I try to sell everyone on the quiet ride. It does, however, confirm that those who move back to an ICE car after their EV lease is up probably do indeed have a screw loose. I know, there are some who want more space or whatever, but the guy who leases a jeep after turning in his Volt has taken a U-turn on the road to Nirvana…and even the experts apparently agree.

Agreed. Every time I have to ride in the ICE monster now I feel like I’ve been in a blender. I rarely even listen to music in my Leaf because I find the quiet allows me to process and decompress. I also don’t have to yell on my rare in-car conference calls.

I also feel like the accelerator pedal has been replaced with a wet sponge.

You’re driving the wrong EV…

I think he was talking about the ICE car.

Volt wasn’t all that quiet because of the tire tread design. It was downright annoying above 30mph.

The ELR is way better.

Yes, you can have an actual human conversation without strain in either car under the right conditions. The HEMI truck, not so much.

It would be better if they didn’t insist on putting in those “noise-maker” speakers. Hat that damn thing in my Fiat 500e.

26,000+ miles in and I love how quiet my LEAF is. Audio volume rarely exceeds 50% and taking a call is no longer a shouting match. The lack of sound is not something I would have even considered a benefit but at this point it’s one of the things I love most.

Agreed, totally.
Sound, or actually noise of ICE machine are very annoying to a point where we think we got accustomed with, but shuttin it down is quit a relief that make room for thinking more about good thing in life.
On a side note, the awfull uneeded synthetic pedestrian alert sound (or thought to be) is absolutetly somthing that the driver should be able to turn off, as there is no evidence to my knowledge that it have or would prevent any accident.

Thirded. Went from a low-power, quiet computer to a regular desktop, and I didn’t realize what I was missing. Now my desktop box is annoying from the moment it fires up.

You’ve got to be a true Kool-Aid drinker to swallow this one!


We appreciate comments, but you have consistently presented snide, disparaging comments (both on topics and to other community members that don’t agree with you) that really have done nothing but make InsideEVs a less enjoyable place to visit, so this is a warning.

This post in and of itself is not that serious, however you have now posted over 298 times in the past two weeks, anywhere 30 to 100 times in the same thread (104 times here, 40 here, 38 here) , basically expressing the same opinion, steamrolling all others. The ID “CP” is also your 4th alias on this site, which is something we can’t allow to change again.

Your choices going forward are to take it down a notch, and present your point (whatever the prospective is) as a mature community member, or not post at all. There won’t be a second warning, and any future excessive comment(s) will be removed without comment.