Truly, one of the most exciting aspects of driving an electric car is its almost completely silent operation. Drive a Tesla roadster, and your brain divides by zero. Lickety-split speed that you'd expect from a roaring 7.0-liter dino-burner, with nothing more than wind noise and slight gear whine. It's hard to get used to, but oh-so-cool at the same time. To me, one of the most compelling reasons to buy an electric car is near-silent operation. Now, Nissan's thinking of changing that with the Leaf.
Before you blow up the comments with safety arguments, let me assure you that I'm all about safety. Ever been snuck up on by a stealth Prius in a parking lot? Not fun. Something should be done to help the vision, hearing, or cognitive impaired be aware of electric vehicles running around, but I'm not sure Nissan's proposed sounds should be it. Hit the jump to hear for yourself.
Maybe if the sounds were selectable? Ahh, but then you'd end up with people playing profane music while driving. I'd find it humorous, but I'm sure parents of impressionable minds would not. Worse yet, these proposed sounds would be on all the time. One day, electric cars will be far more abundant, and if they're all emitting these wonky tones, imagine the noise pollution from a traffic jam. Suddenly, that dino-burner doesn't sound so bad does it?