Most of the people who drive an electric car for the first time find the lack of noise or sound to be quite shocking. It’s true, cruising around in an EV is an interesting aural experience, to put it mildly. Furthermore, the cars are usually so quiet that various manufacturers had to include acoustic warning sounds to make pedestrians aware of the fact that there’s actually a car coming from behind. But when dealing with a brand known to be inspiring strong emotional responses like BMW, what is there to be done?
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Should BMW try and simulate a sound inside its electric vehicles or just leave them be as they are, for a serene experience? Well, while the i3 is a city cruiser which appeals to those wanting a premium EV to cruise around, without too much emphasis on the sporty side of things, other future models won’t be as sedated. We already learned that BMW will be launching some 12 pure EVs by 2025 and some of them will be fast and, hopefully, truly enjoyable to drive. For those cars, a soundtrack might be in order.
Speaking to Car Advice in Munich, Andres Wilde the head of BMW’s powertrain concepts, said that the company is actually working on it: “We are working on that… [actually] in the laboratory last week. It’s hard to describe, I cannot sing it. It’s not so easy to keep this sound from a six- or eight-cylinder.” Whether that means that customers will get to choose their soundtrack and that it will in fact mimic the sound some mills make, remains to be seen.
“It’s positive for the electric cars because they have no sound, except bad sound… we have to do a lot of stuff to find what is the exact characteristics and emotional experience in an electro car, therefore lot of studies going on right now. [In] the near future we can show you some first exercises, experiences,” Wilde added. That’s an interesting perspective and I’m sure BMW will ask for the opinion of its customers and do thorough research before launching any such systems.