But, if someone from an all electric future was dropped off in 2016 i think they'd really notice noise above everything else. Traffic noise in cities is a massive "silent" irritant. Even outside of cities, it's amazing how far you need to be from a road to hear unadulterated wilderness. Off-road, dirt bikes, quads, water craft and such can really impact enjoyment of outdoor recreational places.
I don't think the psychological impacts of this are fully understood, but it is understood that they aren't trivial. The whole world will get so much more peaceful with combustion engines out of the picture.
Air travel is the one area where reducing noise would carry an obvious economic benefit to airlines. Unfortunately it's the one of hardest ones to solve.
As you can see at a speed of 40 kph (25 mph) a car's tire noise is already higher than the engine noise and at even higher speed the engine noise doesn't really matter anymore. So even if your electric car engine is absolute silent, the total noise at speeds above 30 mph won't be all that different.
The only real solution is electric cars plus significantly reduced speed limits.
The vehicles that shake the apartment are pickup trucks (low rumble), sport cars (high pitched tear), transport trucks (big rumble), and motorcycles (little explosions that set off car alarms). Electric container trucks would be a huge win for ambient noise.
Keeping the window open during night is a huge problem now. In my old home I did that always, now I have to fight against the heat in the rooms or the noise.
Also looking a movie with open windows is not much fun. The cars stop at the traffic lights, the engines start crying when the light turns green and I missed part of a dialog...
That beeing said, choose your home carefully. Especially when you lived before in a quiet neighborhood.
I don't doubt that tire noise dominates on average, but engine noise from big trucks is far louder at peak. At least for the roads near my house, typical traffic is a steady ignorable hum, but when big trucks go by uphill or start moving from a stoplight, they make so much noise I can barely hear myself think.
Cars are similar, usually much smaller in magnitude. Every so often you get some silly person who thinks a bad muffler makes his car fast and compete with the big trucks.
Electrification may not bring down average noise levels much, but it'll still make it a lot more pleasant to be near a busy road.
Also, you can do a lot to reduce tire noise with things like low-noise asphalt, but it's rather pointless when your also using an IC engine. http://www.roadtraffic-technology.com/features/feature126199...
From my point of view, this data makes me optimistic, because I'm most bothered by noise when I'm walking beside the road on city streets, which are below 50km/h, and the graph promises a noticeable improvement in that area.
On wet streets the noise from the tires is also a lot louder. Another thing we're completely used to. But once you pay attention to this, you realize just how much louder it actually is.
I don't even hear the tires on the little Google Pods they're driving around Mountain View these days, which seems to have little bitty tires like a smart (wise for efficiency), but the drive is quite audible. As an aside, it's oddly futuristic, though; I think they did that on purpose because when it goes by I get confused and think I'm in Star Trek for a minute. It genuinely sounds like background foley in Hollywood future movies, and I'm not sure I really mind it.
I'd laugh if Google put all this money and time into self-driving cars, a big executive-involved project at a behemoth, and in the end the engineers gave it the Star Trek background-whirr noise on purpose.
I live in the country and my house is about 100-feet off a rural highway with a 65-mph speed limit. Being Texas, most folks are going a bit faster.
One of my neighbors has a Tesla. It's no quieter at these speeds than the numerous diesel pickups that inhabit these parts -- the tire noise is amazingly loud. Luckily this road isn't very heavily traveled or I'd be tempted to build a berm or other noise abatement obstruction.
Which isn't a solution as it would be like saying "the only real solution is no automobile (cars/vehicles)", because people will want ever more speeds.
So I guess, we must look for other better solutions. Somewhere I read that some chemistry researchers (AFAIK at Purdue university) are trying to improve the road building material/tyre surface material such that the noise caused by the impact of tyres on the roads is reduced. They claim that the noise caused by the impact of the speeding tyres on the road-surface is a very large noise cause.
Sorry for not being able to provide link.
If electric cars are "half" the noise problem of ICE ones, that's still a huge win.
there were some experiments years ago that don't seem to have gone anywhere because of costs, where old tires were ground up and added into the asphalt for new roads - at a HUGE difference.
I think no one has really been making an effort in this area lately, but doesn't make it impossible.
Booo... Booo skrause. Boooo.
I don't know german, does that account for road type? I know the tire noise in my car is freaking horrible on the lousy plain concrete highway, but drops off nicely as soon as I hit any nicer material.
All good things IMO.
If we are talking about reducing speeds below 40 we are probably talking about highways as more urban areas are typically lower already.
Too much time in the states with silly freedom units.
No, hover cars; no road noise if you don't touch the road.
Just a million angry hornets from the ducted fans.
That said - I now really notice the diesel smell and the fumes in central London. I used to cycle through it every day and couldn't see what the problem was, but as soon as I get off the tube I can smell the stink of smoke lorries and buses.
I lived at various times in Fulham, Putney and Richmond, and worked directly under the flight path.
What choice do most people have? All the MPs in the area are against adding a runway at Heathrow, as are all past and current mayors of London, but expanding the airport still hasn't been ruled out.
Anyone unfamiliar could look here, and see the trail of planes approaching LHR over London: https://www.flightradar24.com/51.51,-0.19/11 (flights are restricted at night, which will be about 2200-0400 UTC)
How can you live with that amount of noise? isn't it like way too much?
And of course I don't mean you you but in general people living there.
In Richmond, about 1800ft.
In Hounslow, around 1000ft to under 200ft as they cross the perimeter of the airport.
Many of these planes are large jets, 747s and similar. You can usually see the next plane before the first has disappeared from view, and hear both. Between 270,000 and 700,000 people are affected by the noise, depending who you believe.
After renting a house directly under the flight path as a student, I tried never to do so again. Places under the flightpath are slightly cheaper, although anyone new to the area probably doesn't realise the extent of the problem until it's too late.
I didn't think about it for my employer though, and worked for several years directly on the approach path. On some days it wasn't possible to hold a conversation outside. I felt it led to constant stress. On a rare day with no noise (e.g. after the volcanic eruption in Iceland) everyone seemed so happy and relaxed — as if it were the first day of nice weather in spring after a month of rain.
The airport publish this map: http://myneighbourhood.bksv.com/lhr/ which shows that in many areas, there is noise (by some definition) for more than half of the day. (Make sure to tick landing approaches at the bottom.)
Landings are for all intents and purposes silent. I could sit on the deck and watch airliners landing all day long because they are completely throttled back at that point.
Takeoff, OTOH is a whole other issue. By the time they got over my house in south Minneapolis, they were already turning away (noise abatement procedures I guess), and you got used to it after a while but it was still grating. I learned pretty quick which days to keep the windows closed :-(
What altitude were the planes?
Over Fulham (in London), it's about 3000ft and they're audible as a background rumble. They're so frequent the noise never really stops.
By Richmond at 1800ft it's not possible to have a British-volume conversation outside (Americans might be OK…). By Hounslow (down to ~200ft as they cross the airport boundary) it's uncomfortable.
Heathrow's own numbers say 700,000 Londoners have >55dBA noise from flights. (This is mostly landings, as prevailing winds mean take-off is usually away from London.)
It was really bothersome at first but eventually your mind can block it out. Now I live next to a rail track and the train noises don't bother me at all (although they are definitely much less severe).
YMMV though. It probably helped my brain was younger then.
However, some people are more sensitive to noise (and pollution) than others. Peace and quiet is actually a nightmare to some, not something to be cherished. I would prefer to hear the wind breezing through the trees and bird song, most people would prefer to blot this out with music or TV. It does concern me that I share this planet with so many people that care so little about such things!!! What hope is there for a better world? How does anyone concentrate at the top of their faculties when their senses are just polluted with noise?
Regarding West London, this is the sweet spot for London. There is better air around Bushey Park, Richmond Park, Wimbledon Common and the bits of green in between. At the top of somewhere like Kingston Hill the air is not the same as down in the West End.
Due to prevailing wind directions, East London is not as good as the West. The transport links are not as good either, whether that be road or public transport.
Back to the plot of the article, I don't see why a hybrid variant can't be done with trucks to take them from the town centre to the ring road. In that way the engine can operate at peak efficiency on trunk roads and motorways and the electric drive train can deliver efficiencies in the city or town.
I am sure that the likes of Mercedes have considered this but there must be some economic reasons why this has not happened. I am amazed that basic stop-start technology has taken so long to happen. This is a no-brainer with no technical difficulties and an obvious saving to all. But we waited decades for that, probably phased out by lead in petrol...
Completely agree, the noise is pretty bad, that said you can tune it out or sound insulate your home. I find the fumes from traffic the real pain point of city living.
From what I understand ozone and particles with sizes of 2.5 microns or less (PM2.5) are a key part of it and are damaging to our bodies. Some of these particles are small enough to cross the air/blood barrier in our lungs and disrupt cell function. At a minimum you'll have increased inflammation of the respiratory passages which makes things like pollen and pet allergies wrose.
I'd recommend anyone living in a city to invest in a good air purifier from BlueAir or IQAir (if you can afford it).
It's amazing how bad particulate counts (which inflame our respiratory passages) get on certain days of the year.
Few great sites to track pollution in your area are:
Although compared to Shanghai, London is really clean, if you live in Shanghai you keep your windows permanently shut and run an air purifier 24/7: http://aqicn.org/city/shanghai/
> I'd recommend anyone living in a city to invest in a good air purifier from BlueAir or IQAir (if you can afford it).
Another, more environmentally friendly option: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gmn7tjSNyAA
Also basil plants are a natural mosquito repellent, might not be an issue in the UK though.
They do sod all for my pollen allergies - only an air purifier has brought it under control (anti-histamine free now).
One thing which did dismay me is just how baffled IQAir/BlueAir were when I asked if I can recycle the filter media or if they are biodegradeable.
If you are in China checkout SmartAir, clever startup which is blowing up the air purifier market (in a good way):
There are places where engine compression braking is specifically prohibited due to noise concerns.
See https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compression_release_engine_b... (also called Jake brake by truckers)
Er… regenerative? Short of emergency braking which should almost never be necessary in city traffic.
A heavy truck, though, probably should. Dynamic braking is great for going down long grades, because the motors and resistors can handle the load continuously without overheating. Some power can go back into the battery, but the battery may not be able to take it all, due to charging rate limitations.
Which I very specifically noted…
You're right that tire noise is significant, though, and that electric cars (and trucks and buses!) are not completely silent. They are definitely MUCH quieter than the drum-drum-drum of an accelerating diesel truck engine, though!
Now, if only they could get rid of that annoying beep-beep-beep a reversing truck makes...
(It might go if and when reversing cameras, which are now standard on automobiles, become standard on trucks ... but there are headaches implicit in adding them to articulated lorries: what about side blind-spots? What about the trailer, as opposed to the tractor? What if a trailer-camera isn't hooked up -- should it be impossible to reverse an electric tractor if it has a trailer hook-up but no signal from the camera on the trailer?)
Tom Scott - Why Do Reversing Trucks Not Beep Any More?
As someone with construction taking place next door to me I really wish they would start getting rid of the beeping in more places. I'm pessimistic that it will happen in my area anytime soon though.
You're right that there is still noise, particularly from the tires, and that they are actually surprisingly loud if you are expecting silence (mostly tire noise, particularly when turning, plus a little high-pitched whine).
But when accelerating from a stop, compared to a gas car or especially a truck, the difference is noticeable. No 'vroom' or 'rattle' or 'rumble.' Trucks in particular can be window-shakingly loud. Priuses are also nice and quiet...
Relevant illustration: http://greatergreaterwashington.org/post/24948/to-a-pedestri...
There are many places in Europe that do that, except that they make just enough exceptions for this or that car that it still makes it hard to be a pedestrian.
Many small island communities are plagued by these nasty little things. It's two-strokes buzzing by all day long, and each one of them is louder than twenty cars.
There's a reason oil field trucks tend to be the most minimal trim available. More stuff -> more stuff to break -> more complicated service -> waste of money. Automatic windows are a convenient but hard to justify when they cost more up front and cause more downtime over the life of the vehicle. Ditto for most other luxury features.
You know what sucks, having a Prius that won't use its electric powertrain because the software is trying to protect the integrated A/C compressor from damage because a rock kicked up by another vehicle was the straw that broke the camels back and causes the condenser to leak out refrigerant. Now imagine not being able to use half the powertrain of a pickup you're trying to do work in. See the problem? Sure you could do a different A/c system but you're probably giving up some other important performance metric (like fuel economy) or you could let it ruin the compressor (but then the customer will complain or you'll waste money replacing compressors under warranty)
GMC made a hybrid pickup. It was cool because it could be used as a power source to run tools at a jobsite. It didn't sell. They canned it.
I'm on the waiting list for a Model 3 and plan on getting and e-bike some day http://www.ktm.com/gb/e-ride/ I own a loud KTM 300 2 stroke and a diesel truck. Tho I'll probably never sell my Harley evo, loud pipe save lives ;-)
Probably depends on the speed as well.
If you're deaf, sure, combustion engines are quiet. Otherwise they're often quite loud.
Given the move to regulate hybrid and electric vehicles so that they make as much noise as traditional ICE vehicles (notionally, as a safety measure of visually-handicapped pedestrians), I'm not sure that that's the case.
Today I was gifted with hearing a weed-whacker running continuously for a couple of hours outside my window.
I am now a more morally resilient critter, according to Friedrich "That which does not kill us, makes us stronger" Nietzsche.
(He wrote that the year before going totally bonkers, so it might not work as advertised, like much else.)
If that happens there could be some interesting but boring (oxymoron intended) business opportunities like transfer stations at the borders of urban areas (switch engines).
This could also dramatically improve the safety of trucks as there are still an enormous amount of trucks that are not automatic and do not have antilock breaks (or whatever the analogous tech is these days).
By mandating electric engines the safety improvements could be had at the same time.
I like the name: eTruck.
See the attempts by NYC to set up congestion pricing but Albany won't allow it happen.
Personally I think other cities will start this first such as London, LA, Paris, etc.
Prices are between $0 and $5 depending on the time and day.
Just saying that NYC tried to have congestion pricing only to be overruled. And I'm sure they'll aim for eTrucks only requirement but will be overruled by Albany because that's what Albany does.
And that other cities (Stockholm I'm sure) will be at the forefront of the new eTruck revolution as soon as it's commercially viable.
Same for CA and SV, MA and Boston, IL and Chicago. In states with one dominant city that city runs the show for the most part. If the dominant city can't get something done it's either because it's BS and shouldn't get done in the first place, would screw most of the rest of the state or because they need to wait to politically recharge after ramming something that fell into one of the former two categories down everyone's throat.
You speak like someone who doesn't follow NY politics.
That's a significant electric delivery vehicle fleet, though from almost 10 years ago -- I don't know what happened since.
Sweden is prototyping an electric highway for trucks. It'll make transport cheaper and less damaging to the environment.
This specific effort is urban deliveries, 120 miles should be way more than enough.
> This can be circumvented by using electric wiring overhead.
You'd need much denser pantograph networks than any I know of for debatable benefits since the vehicles would still need the ability to go "off-network" (to enter private premises for instance). And for longer ranges, you might as well just use trains.
A gas tank with barely enough gas for 120 miles would work, but a battery for 120 miles can work only if you can quickly, easily and safely swap the batteries in your depot.
A Tesla Model X (5000lbs/2500kg) pulling a 5000lbs trailer uses about 700Wh/mi. If you assume 1kWh/mi for a small delivery truck, you'll need a 120KWh battery.
ChaDeMo chargers are ~62.5KW, Tesla Superchargers are ~135KW and future level 3 chargers could go up to 300KW.
So 12.5-25% of an 8hr shift. I would guess that would be unacceptably long for a large number of transport operators.
All that said, I don't think electric semis make much sense for long-haul trucking. That market would be much better served by electric trains. What does make sense is using smaller electric trucks and vans for local deliveries and waste pickup.
It would be, except for how difficult (right of way) and expensive it is to expand the rail network, and the extra work in moving between modes (since the last mile will be truck anyway).
Adding pantographs or inductive or something to for trucks to use on existing highways would be a lot cheaper and quicker to scale up than expanding rail.
I'm sure plenty of trucks drive more than 120 miles in 8hrs.
Particularly when major energy consumption patterns, and transport especially, have been studied to death. There's exceedingly good data out there.
Thanks from me as well for turning that up.
I could realistically assume that you're driving only 2/3 of the time at average speed of 30 mph... and that comes out at just 240 miles per a full day, and you could get a partial charge during e.g. lunch break, so if the battery was just a bit larger, then it's actually feasible.
With good DC charging, you should be able to count on adding 50% of your battery over a 30-minute lunch break, so if you do 240 miles in a day, your battery pack would need to be able to handle 160 city miles. Less if your truck is idle more or if it could charge more.
Right, there's only a 126 mile maximum range on that truck. So you'd have to stop and get a new battery every 2 hours, minimum on the interstate.
In Eastern Europe there are some trollybus systems, for example in Bratislava . I like this -- no pollution in the city, and lighter vehicles with good acceleration and no rumbling engine.
Seattle's new ones also have batteries so that they can run off-wire if they need to detour.
Trucks only need 200 hp to cruise so a 100 hp engine would extend the battery range a lot. I bet you could even take one of these 100 mile EV trucks, put a Prius engine in there, and make it go all day and double or triple the miles per gallon over a normal truck with 600+ hp engine.
But if I go to a "battery swap" location I'm giving up my new battery and might get a dud. You can set up a business model that solves the problem. For example, use the propane tank model, where you put a deposit down to get the first one, and the customer is always entitled to a swap. And the company always owns the tanks/batteries. But that's an expensive business. These battery packs are big assets currently.
It's easier to just have two or three owned by a truck company who can swap themselves.
That, and trucks generally go back to depots regularly to load/unload/etc… Even more so if you're swapping tractors around cities, you'd have swapping depots for that purpose.
They need a lot of torque to accelerate (err, "gain momentum") away from lights, and the instant torque of an electric motor is especially well suited for this.
The downside is that the heavy battery pack takes away cargo carrying capacity. Trucks are weight-limited to reduce damage to roads.
Are you serious? That's horrific...
It also requires much heavier and "non-standard" coupling between tractor and trailer since the trailer now needs to power the tractor rather than the reverse (and needs send significantly more power over the link)
Weight is also no problem as 500kg of batteries is nothing compared to 20 tones of a trailer.
There are power cables but they're used to power the trailer from the tractor rather than the other way around, they're mostly controlling trailer devices (lamps, brakes, etc…) and the general power ones are small potatoes to power cooling (refrigerated trailers) or lifts, not full-blown truck engines.
> Thing is to just make a thicker one.
Well yeah as I noted with that "solution" you need much heavier coupling than the standard ones (and reversed power), so you get to throw all existing tractors and trailers in the trash, rather than just replacing the tractors and keeping all existing trailers.
And that means much larger upfront costs for debatable benefits.
Why are they "anticipating" a price drop starting in 1997?
So it is an early prototype - it will be interesting to see which timeline Tesla has for their offering.
IMHO the noise from semi trucks is nothing compared to cruiser-style motorcycles.
Agreed, it's great that companies have electric and hybrid cars, but I want to see BEV/hybrid sports cars (besides the $150k BMW i8) and BEV/hybrid trucks.
GM is sponsoring the EcoCar 3  competition, which uses a Camaro for the base vehicle - a hybrid Camaro, with real performance and efficiency, would be the best of both worlds.
GM previously produced 300V hybrid trucks, but apparently they didn't sell very well.
2. http://www.gmfleet.com/chevrolet/silverado-1500-hybrid-truck... http://www.edmunds.com/cadillac/escalade-hybrid/
Also the range is low as mtgx pointed out.
> That’s in part due to its max range of 200 kilometres (about 124 miles).
"If that's NEDC, then it's more like 85 miles EPA."
Annoucing the new electric semi truck, but not plans to build it. That seems to be a pretty thing way to claim the first "electric semi truck".
If that's NEDC, then it's more like 85 miles EPA.
It makes it harder to see any details when the company wants to stay secretive about their new car.
I think it is kind of hilarious to try to camo a truck, like I can't quite tell what it is... is it a sports car? is it a SUV? The SUV wars are heating up!
Also kinda funny that a truck would be differentiated based on sheet metal styling.