Thursday 23rd February 2012

The weather is lovely today so need to have the heat on. With the fan turned off the car is so quiet, it’s lovely. You stop at the traffic lights and it’s just silence. Even when you start to move forward it is still quiet and only when you start to pick up some speed does the sound of the transmission become noticeable. Today I am at 2222.2 miles and I have had the car 1 month and 2 days.

— Are electric cars silent? —

Not really, it’s a common myth that they’re totally silent. They are very quiet as there is no engine fizzing away all the time, they don’t vibrate your senses and tire you out – It’s a shame that the ActiveE only has a 100 mile range, you could easily drive 500 miles in it and get out as fresh as you were when you started. Driving an electric can be like taking a rest!

But, back to the noise. The noise you do hear is a gentle whine from the gearbox and the sound of the wind rushing past. When you put your foot down the motor joins in with its own ‘whoosh’ sound – a little like a jet aircraft taking off. On really powerful electric cars like the Tesla Roadster, that jet engine analogy is matched by the jet engine acceleration too.

To put it into perspective though, the sound of the motor is drowned out by the sound from the heating fan.