(EV) Silence is Golden

Nissan believes the silent operation of fully-electric vehicles may help improve heart health and noise pollution

Hear what the “Future of City” sounds like with Nissan’s experiment

Media: Nissan

Nissan believes full-electric vehicles (EVs) like the Nissan Leaf can do more for the health of the public, given their famously silent nature.

To shed more light on how EVs can help with noise pollution, the Yokohama-based company measured and compared the sound levels of a standard urban street to that of a street with the sound level of an EV.

Using sound-level recording equipment, Nissan found out noise levels peaked at above 90 dB on the standard street with normal traffic, a number almost two times louder than the WHO’s recommended level.

With the Nissan Leaf, the volume in the same street dipped to a WHO-safe 21dB, which is a mere third of the street noise average in Asia’s major cities like Bangkok, Jakarta, Hong Kong and Singapore.

Who cares? Well, the World Health Organisation (WHO) says long-term exposure to high environmental noise (above 53 decibels (dB)) can result in adverse health effects like elevated blood pressure, coronary artery disease, hearing loss and even heart attacks.

In a further extrapolation of that piece of information, the Australian Academy of Science has just concluded a research, ranking traffic noise second among the most impactful environmental threats to public health. Singapore, as a small and densely-populated island obviously doesn’t escape the threats.

With the WHO attributing 64 percent of hearing loss to city noise pollution, this experiment with the Nissan Leaf shows the extended potential of EVs with regards to improving public health.

There’s also more to be reaped with an electric future; the Japanese firm says quieter streets can also lead to higher property values, increased pedestrian street activity and clearer social interaction.

READ MORE: A New World Centred Around the Nissan Leaf? Nissan says yes can do.

Volvo has also embraced electrification with their fully electric trucks. The chinese-owned company has research suggesting electric and hybrid bus drivers finish their shifts more relaxed than their other counterparts in petrol or diesel trucks, this is due to less vibrations and noise while they’re driving.

Also, quieter trucks means easier mobility in off-peak hours since no one will be disturbed by a loud vehicle. Roads will be less congested and cities testing off-peak deliveries across the world have indicated a 60 percent reduction in delivery time, signalling an increment in productivity gains.

“The rate of urbanization in Asia is set to increase, making noise pollution an important issue that we can unite to reduce. As this small test indicates, 100 percent electric vehicles like the Nissan Leafs zero emission, quiet engine has the strong potential to positively improve environmental concerns for societies in Asia and Oceania,” said Yutaka Sanada, regional senior vice president for Nissan Asia & Oceania.

about the author

Loo Hanwei
Hanwei is the newest member of the CarBuyer Singapore team, and the only member to admit to actually watching football for personal enjoyment. He has never been mistaken for a Korean rapper, but the day is surely approaching fast.