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Volvo Trucks adds unique sounds to its Electric Trucks

Volvo Trucks has developed an acoustic alert system with unique sounds for its electric truck models to improve safety. The Volvo designed alert hopes to increase safety by making pedestrians, cyclists and other road users aware of approaching trucks, otherwise nearly silent. The sounds are designed to be pleasant and unobtrusive, both for the driver and others close by.

Starting on 1st July 2021, all new electric vehicles in the EU will be required to emit a certain sound level when travelling at speeds below 20 kph. The sound level required depends on the speed and gets higher as it increases. At the maximum speed of 20 kph, it should be at least 56 decibels. The US has similar legislation for vehicles when driving 30 kph or slower. An external acoustic vehicle alerting system (AVAS) must be added if the vehicle is too quiet.

To meet the new requirements and at the same time maintain the benefits of lower noise levels that come with electric vehicles, Volvo Trucks has developed a unique set of premium sounds for its electric truck models.

“We truly welcome this new legislation. From when we were children, we have learnt to rely not only on what we see but also what we hear in traffic – sometimes so much so that we don´t even look before crossing a street! With our new alert system, we want to help ensure that pedestrians and cyclists notice when they are close to our electric trucks,” explains Anna Wrige Berling, Traffic and Product Safety Director at Volvo Trucks.

Developed by acoustics experts

The range of sounds results from thorough research and testing by the Volvo Group’s acoustics experts.

“We are particularly proud to have developed high quality, premium sounds that are noticeable enough to warn people close to the truck and yet still pleasant for the driver and other road users,” says Anna Wrige Berling.

It is important to note that the trucks will still be much quieter than conventional trucks.

“The sounds are designed to not penetrate through walls. Our electric trucks will still allow for quiet nighttime deliveries and contribute to better working conditions for the drivers and a quieter, cleaner environment,”

says Anna Wrige Berling.

Four different sounds

The Volvo developed acoustic alert system for electric vehicles is not just one but four different sounds, informing people close by about what the truck is doing: moving forward, idling, reversing, etc. The sounds will vary in intensity based on truck speed and will shift in frequency during acceleration and deceleration.

“Electric trucks will be increasingly more common in traffic, and by adding the acoustic alert sound system to our electric vehicles, we are proud to be able to combine our exciting journey towards zero emissions with our longstanding zero accidents ambition.”

Says Anna Wrige Berling.

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