Having already given the tamest of family cars a hefty dose of testosterone – at least auditorily – Swedish company SoundRacer looks set to turn up the volume of electric vehicles – this time on the outside. Having garnered interest from several electric car and scooter manufacturers, the company decided to demonstrate its system at CeBIT by making some big noise with an RC car.
While many appreciated the lack of a roaring engine when hybrids and electric vehicles first started appearing on the roads, it quickly became apparent the near silence of such vehicles could pose a risk to pedestrians. This led to Toyota selling an audible warning system for retrofitting on its third generation Prius vehicles in 2010 and Infiniti announcing its M35h would become the first hybrid to feature an audible warning system as standard in mid-2011.
Such systems are now commonplace and are set to become compulsory in many countries in the near future. While some existing systems emit horn beeps, most mimic the sound of an internal combustion engine. With SoundRacer having some experience in this area, the Swedish company has thrown its hat into the ring in the form of its Electric Vehicle Sound Module, EVSM-2.
Aimed at EV manufacturers, the EVSM-2 can be customized to provide different engine sounds, including the sound profiles proposed by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The unit can be turned on and off or the volume adjusted at will, and gives a realistic sound impression indicating whether the vehicle is idling, accelerating, decelerating or cruising.
To give EV manufacturers a taste of what to expect from its unit, SoundRacer headed to CeBIT, which is currently underway in Hanover, Germany. Since showing a full-sized EV would have made their booth a bit cramped, the team decided to fit the device to an RC car, along with a real size weather protected 25 W speaker, 20 W amplifier, and a Hall effect speed sensor the registers speed information from two magnets attached to the rear wheel.
The results can be seen – and heard – in the video below.