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PHOTO CAPTION: Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Coupe Electric Drive gets a 'huskier tone' to reflect its power.

Mercedes Gives Its Electric Cars Pedestrian Warning Tones

Although no data yet exists on injuries caused by electric vehicles, the EU takes the threat to the blind seriously, requiring acoustic warning sounds from EVs.

Published: 31-Dec-2013

Christoph Meier, a sound engineer at Mercedes-Benz parent Daimler AG (DAI), typically spends time making engine noise less jarring. For the carmaker’s new electric models, he’s had to do the opposite -- create sound.

For Daimler’s e-Smart city car, Meier and his team invented a “sonorous purring” that was pitched higher than conventional vehicles, while Mercedes’s 416,500-euro ($569,600) SLS AMG Coupe Electric Drive gets huskier tones to reflect its power.

“People expect some exterior noise from a vehicle, because we all grew up with the ‘vroom vroom’ of combustion engines,” said Meier, who oversees 250 people as head of powertrain acoustics at the Stuttgart, Germany-based company.

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