The problem posed by the fact that EVs are so quiet they could pose threat to pedestrians who don’t hear them coming was addressed in Europe by mandating sound emitting devices on all new electric cars - they are called AVAS (short for Acoustic Vehicle Alarm System). However, the sounds they make are not standardized and each manufacturer is free to choose its own style kind o audible signature.
And while some manufacturers, namely BMW and Porsche are putting a lot of time and thought into creating these pedestrian alert sounds, it seems that Skoda isn’t trying all that hard. It recently revealed what the sound its PHEV are going to make, and it sounds like an engine sound from a mid-1990s racing game.
No, seriously, we’re not trying to be mean, that’s the best honest description of the noise. It almost sounds like a bad digital interpretation of a four-cylinder diesel engine. It’s nowhere near as sophisticated as what the two aforementioned German automakers have done, or even others such as Renault or Nissan.
Skoda does say that this particular sample is reserved for the vehicles in its lineup that also have an internal combustion engine (its iV-badged Octavia and Superb models). This, we presume, means that for its fully-electric models, it will create a different sound.
Gallery: Skoda PHEV Sounds
If you were wondering how and where the sound is emitted from, well, there’s a small encased speaker located close to the front right wheel. According to European Union regulations, electric cars have to make this artificial noise at speeds of up to 20 km/h (12.4 mph), but Skoda has set its system up so that it gets louder up to 25 km/h (15.5 mph) and then gradually fades away before stopping completely at 30 km/h (18.6 mph); in reverse, it’s played at up to 6 km/h (4 mph) and the tone of the sound actually changes to be even more clearly audible.
HOW DO ELECTRIC CARS PROTECT PEDESTRIANS? LISTEN TO IT
You’re walking through a car park and behind you an electric car sets off. It’s so quiet that you aren’t aware of it. And that can be a stumbling block. That’s why ŠKODA’s hybrid models are equipped with warning sounds.
4. 6. 2020