Nissan Leaf Electric Car to Emit Sound Similar to Blade Runner's Flying Cars

Ridley Scott's "Spinners" Still Inspire

After spending decades trying to make cars quieter, engineers are not faced with the opposite problem; electric cars (and hybrids when they run in electric mode) can be very quiet, leading to safety concerns (more on that below). Nissan's sound engineers are currently working on the Leaf EV, and they announced something that movie geeks are sure to appreciate...

© Nissan

Freedom to Design a Sound for Electric Cars

Bloomberg writes: "Toshiyuki Tabata spent 30 years as a Nissan Motor Co. engineer trying to make gasoline-powered cars quieter. Now he's consulting music composers to make electric cars noisier -- and safer. [...] The company consulted Japanese composers of film scores. What Tabata and his six-member team came up with is a high- pitched sound reminiscent of the flying cars in 'Blade Runner,' the 1982 film directed by Ridley Scott portraying his dystopian vision of 2019."

But they're smart about it. This sound system would only be turned on when the car is moving below 12 miles per hour (20 kph). Above that speed, tire noise is high enough to make it safe (indeed, even with gasoline cars, most of the noise you hear except when someone is revving the engine comes from the tires).

Leasing the Battery Pack

Speaking of the Nissan Leaf electric car, Le Journal du Dimanche reports (via AutoblogGreen) that Nissan is thinking of leasing the battery packs for the Leaf for around €100/month (around $150).

This could reduce the worry about batteries and increase the number of early adopters. It could also mean upgrading your car's battery to a more advanced model that stores more power once your lease is up, extending the range of your electric car.

Via Bloomberg, AutoblogGreen

More Electric Cars

Drew Barrymore to Drive Jay Leno's Electric Ford Focus Tonight Ford Shows Electric Focus Prototype at Frankfurt Auto Show Fisker Working on $39,000 Plug-in Hybrid to be Sold in 2012, Made in USA

Tags: Electric Cars | Electric Vehicles | Transportation

Best of TreeHugger